World Cup 2014 begins! Five things the England squad could do with being sent
The World Cup has begun and as usual, our boys carry the hopes of the nation on their muscular shoulders for (at least) progression to the quarter-finals. Treated like the heroes they are, the England camp will have been set up with all mod-cons - their every need satisfied.
That said, Brazil is a long way from home. There are bound to be items that the players need and haven't thought to bring with them. Here are five (tongue-in-cheek) essentials that we think our roaring Lions could do with being sent:
Say 'Brazil' and you think of body-beautiful sunbathers on Copacabana beach, thus it's all but mandatory that Rooney, Lambert et al should be sent some Speedos so they can fit in while relaxing on those golden shores. If nothing else, they should aim for Brazil's most secluded beach, Baia do Sancho - a tiny island to the north west. Reportedly the best in the world, this beach is so exclusive that visitors are required to climb down a rope ladder to reach it. Clearly it's a beach worth experiencing, hence the urgent need for skimpy swimwear. As Speedos are so 'barely there', it'll cost next to nothing on postage.
England's first match takes place in Manaus, a location where many trips into the mighty Amazon rainforest start. While we all know the squad has been issued malaria tablets to keep the ill-effects of mozzie bites away, the rainforest and Amazon River are home to some incredibly dangerous reptiles including bushmaster vipers, boa constrictors, the prettily-named Coral snake and the daddy of them all, the Anaconda. If the team embarks on any sight-seeing trips into the Amazon, a snake catcher might come in handy. Long and thin, a snake catcher will fit into a cardboard tube with ease and could keep those legless carnivores at bay. The snakes, we mean.
"A watch?" you might ask, "the players can't wear watches on the pitch!" Ah yes, but this requirement comes straight from the mouth of England legend, John Barnes. Admittedly, his dress sense might have left a lot to be desired and some of his comments are comedy gold, but his recipe for winning at international level cannot be disputed and goes thus: 'You've got to hold or give/ But do it at the right time/ You can be slow or fast/ But you must get to the line' - it's all about timing, see? Registered mail would get those timepieces to the England squad before they can 'defend and attack' or 'get round the back'.
To be on the safe side, perhaps the squad could do with being sent some large, strong tissues. Light and easy to pack, they won't cost the sender too much and can be used for multiple purposes: to wipe sweaty brows, blow noses that are running due to the physical exertion or - dare we suggest it - wipe away the tears when that inevitable penalty shoot-out ends in traditional disaster?
But what's with all this nay-saying? There's little doubt that England will smash their way through the group stage, obliterate the competition in the quarter finals, wipe the floor with the opposition in the semis and convincingly snatch the title in the final - no need for penalties. And when this happens, the squad should celebrate with the finest champagne - carefully wrapped and transported by a reliable courier so that it arrives in one piece.
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Sending parcels to Brazil