In football-loving Sambaland, a chunk of Brazil's military might is on show around the England camp. The strong military presence which surrounded England's arrival in Rio on Sunday continued as Roy Hodgson's squad headed off for their first training session in Brazil. (Also read: England fan rides scooter from London to Brazil)
On Tuesday, when the English players boarded their team bus en route to their training ground, soldiers threw a protective cordon around the players. UK's Mirror reported that apart from the very visible presence of the troops, there were also less obvious elements to the security -- a submarine was said to be in the bay next to their training camp, in the Urca military base. A minesweeper was on the water and a helicopter in the air.
England are in Group D alongside Uruguay, Costa Rica and Italy. There is a lot of focus on Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard, who will be playing his last World Cup.
Pele has backed Rooney to star for England. The Manchester United striker has scored 39 goals for England, but he has never found the net at a World Cup despite featuring in South Africa and Germany. The England striker struggled for fitness and form prior to the squad's training camp in Miami, but Pele expects the 28-year-old to perform well in Brazil.
England start their campaign against Italy in Manaus on Saturday before taking on Uruguay and Costa Rica. It is a tough group, but Pele believes England should qualify. "England have a difficult group but I think they could pass," the Brazilian said. "The World Cup is a very short tournament and the experienced players always do well."
Story first published on: Wednesday, 11 June 2014 16:04 IST