England squad touch down in Brazil and head for a stretch on Rio's Copacabana Beach
By Nicholas Veevers in Rio
England touched down in Rio on Thursday morning, ahead of their match with the five-time World Cup winners Brazil on Sunday.
Flying overnight after Wednesday’s game with Republic Of Ireland at Wembley, the squad were transported straight to their hotel on the city's famous Copacabana Beach.
And the players went for a stroll along the promenade soon after arriving, before enjoying a stretch on the beach in front of locals enjoying a Brazilian national holiday.
With fans watching on, the players were more than happy to pose for photographs with a variety of beach volleyball players, surfers and tourists.
Speaking about the arrival, Club England Managing Director Adrian Bevington said: “It’s really important that we’re in Brazil the year before the World Cup.
“A number of other countries will benefit due to the Confederations Cup and as we build on the way we engaged at the Euros last year, we felt it was very important that we could bring the players somewhere close to the beach as part of the experience of Rio.
“We’re very committed to being as engaged as we can be in the cities that we travel to.
“We always try to stay in city centres where possible and we can be very public, so this is a very good test for that.
“I think it’s fantastic that we’ve received such a friendly welcome.
“We’re really looking forward to the game on Sunday and it’s a great honour to be playing Brazil in the Maracana.
“We haven’t played there since 1984, I believe there’s going to be an excellent crowd and I know from watching the players flying into Brazil today, they’re very excited about the game.
“Most of the guys have never been here before and they were looking out of the window at the landmarks like Sugar Loaf Mountain, Christ The Redeemer and the Copacabana Beach.
“This is a great experience, we want to be here and get a feel for Brazil and hopefully we’ll be coming back here next year and playing a great role in the tournament.”
England have a busy few days before Sunday’s game, with training and local charity visits for the group.
The match kicks-off at 4pm local time, or 8pm (BST) and will be live on ITV.