World Cup 2010: England squad arrive in South Africa
England's World Cup squad arrive in South Africa
England's World Cup squad have arrived in South Africa, buoyed by the news of manager Fabio Capello's new contract.
The team landed at Johannesburg's OR Tambo airport at 0800 BST on Thursday after an 11-hour flight from London.
The squad headed straight to their base for the duration of the tournament, the newly built multi-million pound Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus at Rustenburg.
Capello, who on Wednesday signed a new deal committing him to the role until 2012, said: "It's good to be here."
The Italian, 63, had been linked with a move to Inter Milan, while Lord Triesman's recent departure as the Football Association's chairman was reported to have unsettled him.
But Capello signed an amended deal which removed the break clause allowing either party to end the contract after the World Cup.
England arrive at World Cup training camp
The squad, which has an average age of 28.7 years, is England's oldest ever to travel to a World Cup, beating the previous record of 28.4 years set in 1954.
Capello has nine days of preparation before facing the United States in their opening Group C match at the 45,000-capacity Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg on 12 June.
Their luxurious Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus base is only eight miles from the venue in Phokeng, nestled upon the world's largest platinum reserves, and is also home to the 300,000-strong Royal Bafokeng Nation.
The campus has seven training pitches as well as a medical centre for Capello's back-room staff to work with.
And captain Rio Ferdinand is confident the players will not get bored in Rustenburg, which is based in South Africa's Highveld, about 1500m above sea level, where there is less oxygen in the air than at sea level.
The team's preparations to counter the rarefied conditions included a two-week training camp based in Erdning in the Austrian Alps.
Ferdinand said: "The days leading up to the first game are the most important period in terms of staying away from boredom.
"Once the games start, you are watching other games, and the adrenalin kicks in, and you are chomping at the bit to get to the next game, and you are recuperating after games.
"The initial period before the games start is the boredom period but we've got a lot to do, computers, cards, table tennis and pool. We've got great facilities at the camp which is good."
More than 20,000 England fans are expected to fly out to Rustenburg for the first match against the US. The teams have met only once before in the World Cup finals, 60 years ago in Brazil, when the Americans provided the shock of the tournament, winning 1-0.
England then play Algeria in Cape Town on 18 June before completing their group games with a match against Slovenia in Port Elizabeth on 23 June.
The Foreign Office has advised all fans to consult their
before flying out to South Africa.
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