The WAGs of England’s World Cup squad are on their way to Qatar to join the Three Lions today.
Wives, girlfriends and family members of the footballers were seen piling into Manchester airport this morning to catch a short flight to London before hopping on another plane for the seven-hour journey to Qatar.
England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford‘s wife Megan was seen carrying a doll of her husband in full England kit, clutching the cuddly toy as she checked-in luggage before catching the 8.20am flight to Gatwick this morning.
Kyle Walker‘s wife Annie meanwhile draped an England cowboy hat over a suitcase.
Annie and Megan were joined by WAGs Fern Maguire (wife of centre back Harry Maguire), Sasha Attwood (Jack Grealish’s girlfriend) and Charlotte Trippier (wife of right back Kieran) for the brief flight to London.
The WAGs were seen hugging each other and nattering away as they waited in the queue with other passengers.
Many of them were dressed in comfortable lounge wear, ready for the seven-hour flight to the Gulf state ahead of the start of England’s World Cup campaign tomorrow.
The WAGs are not travelling light, having packed more than 50 suitcases between them. Jack Grealish’s girlfriend Sasha Attwood is pictured centre
Jack Grealish’s girlfriend Sasha Attwood is pictured arriving at the check-in desk at Manchester airport with a whopping four large suitcases
Annie Walker, wife of defender Kyle, is pictured left as other WAGs and family members greet each other at the airport
Megan Pickford, wife of goalkeeper Jordan, is pictured at Manchester Airport carrying a cuddly toy emblazoned with her husband’s face
Megan Pickford is seen strolling towards the check-in desk at Manchester airport this morning
WAGs are pictured checking their bags at Manchester airport this morning
Charlotte Trippier, wife of defender Kieran, is pictured arriving at Manchester airport early this morning
Sasha Attwood (L) and Fern Maguire (R) are seen entering Manchester airport this morning to catch a flight to Gatwick
Annie Walker arrives at Manchester airport dragging what appears to be five large suitcases
The group arrived at Manchester Airport in flashy people carriers and expensive motors and were not travelling light – the WAGs and other family members packed more than 50 suitcases between them.
One passenger said: ‘They were certainly in good spirits. There were plenty of smiling faces among them.
‘They were chatting about England’s chances and seemed really confident that England would do well.’
The traveller added: ‘The children were really excited too. What an experience for them and their family.
‘I wish I was going with them instead of my Monday morning meeting.’
Once the WAGs arrive in Qatar, they will be whisked to the MSC World Europa – a luxury cruise liner dubbed a ‘floating palace’ which is set to host them for the duration of the tournament.
The incredible £1billion cruise liner – which usually costs £2,434.80 for nine nights – has set up base at Doha Port ready to accommodate the footballers’ families.
Guests will be living the high life thanks to onboard beauty salons, boutiques, dodgems, 14 ocean-view Jacuzzis and the longest dry-slide at sea titled The Venom Drop to keep them entertained between matches.
But while the WAGs will lap up the luxury of the swanky ship – complete with its very own shopping mall, roller disco rink and a range of clubs for children – it’s said that players won’t be allowed on board as they are set to form their own strict Covid bubble at the Souq Al Wakra hotel in Doha.
Elsewhere on the cruise liner, a Sportplex zone offers basketball, bumper cars and even a roller disco rink, meaning plenty of opportunities for fun, alongside more than 30 bars and cafes, as well as a micro-brewery and mixology classes in its Elixir gin bar.
The luxury £1billion cruise liner that will reportedly host the England WAGs during the World Cup in Qatar has arrived in Doha
Luxe life: The England’s 26-man squad’s partners and families will reportedly base themselves on the MSC World Europa, dubbed a ‘floating palace’, which will be situated in Doha Port
Stunning: The £1billion cruise liner boasts beauty salons, boutiques, six swimming pools, 14 ocean-view jacuzzis and the longest dry-slide at sea titled The Venom Drop
Wow: The cruise liner features a huge theatre to keep the WAGs entertained on board
Bottom’s up: In addition to 13 restaurants and bars, the cruise liner features a micro-brewery and mixology classes in its Elixir gin bar
What a treat: In Qatar there are strict alcohol rules, but because the MSC World Europa is ‘off-shore’, those on board can sip on champagne without fear of legal repercussions
An insider told the publication: ‘The boat is an amazing place to stay. It is like a floating palace, which is why many of the players’ wives and families quickly snapped up packages that the Football Association arranged.
‘Due to the fact the boat is off shore, guests can have a drink and enjoy themselves without having to worry about falling foul of Qatar’s strict rules.
‘And many hotels aren’t even allowed sunbathing areas. But by staying on the boat guests just relax and have a great time. If England do go all the way it’s likely to become like a carnival on board.’
In Qatar there are strict alcohol rules, but because the MSC World Europa is ‘off-shore’, those on board can sip on champagne without fear of legal repercussions.
Regular fans attending the World Cup however are not so lucky.
Fans already in Qatar have complained about the ‘rip off’ accommodation inside £185-a-night metal containers.
Mountains of rubbish have reportedly been piled up outside the underwhelming accommodation as workers battle to complete the unfinished construction work.
Supporters have also complained about a stadium booze ban being imposed just days before the tournament kicks off.
World Cup fans have complained about the ‘rip off’ accommodation inside £185-a-night metal containers amid piles of rubbish and rubble in Qatar
Work was still going on today at the Rawdat All Jahhaniya fan camp with piles of rubbish stored around the sea containers converted to house human cargo
Painters were still applying finishing touches as others carried out wiring on electrical point
One fan Milad Mahmooditar, 32, from Tehran said: ‘It is ridiculous that I have to pay so much money to stay in this tin can.
‘I am 6 feet tall and my bed is too small. There is no room to move and the air-conditioning unit makes so much noise that you cannot sleep.
‘The bathroom isn’t much of a bathroom and you can hardly move without falling over the small table or kicking the bed.
‘I have paid around $200 for each night and I know that for $100 I can get a five star hotel with full board. This is not the way to treat visitors to any country. We have paid so much money to get here.
‘I am sorry about this and I am angry. Maybe it’s okay for the Qatari people who are rich and live in luxury houses for. Me, this is not okay.’
A Welsh fan who asked not to be named said: ‘I probably would’ve paid double the money to come and see my country play.
‘But really? Is this what they’re going to put us in. Metal containers with no air, very little light and like a shoebox?
‘There is no room to move or to store your luggage. A tiny table can just about hold a bowl of cornflakes.’
Those paying to stay in the Rawdat Al Jahhaniya accommodation, that will sleep as many as 60,000 people, can look forward to spartan interiors with either two single beds or a double bed, toilet, mini-fridge and tea and coffee-making facilities.