Dave The Cat Is Returning Home With The England Team
After England players adopt stray in Qatar, Dave the cat is returning home with the England team.
Even though English football will not be returning "home" to England after the World Cup is over, that does not mean that Gareth Southgate's team will be going home empty-handed from Qatar.
During their time at the Al Wakrah hotel in England, England defenders Kyle Walker and John Stones made friends with a stray cat. Walker and Stones both play their club soccer for Manchester City.
The New Member Of The Team
The Three Lions were unable to bring home the trophy from the World Cup, but they will be joined by a new player when they return home.
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Fleet-footed In the midst of the January transfer window, Dave the Cat will be making the transition from the warmth of Qatar to the chill of England.
The snorting feline has won over the players' hearts, and he is now considered the unofficial team mascot.
They had originally stated that they would bring stray Dave back with them if they won the trophy, but they ultimately decided to find a new home for him regardless of how they felt about their performance in the quarter-final.
The two players for Manchester City who go by the name John Stones and Kyle Walker have been Dave's biggest supporters, posting regular updates and pictures of the cat on most evenings of the week.
First day we got there ... Dave pops out, every night he's sat there waiting for his food.
- John Stones
Walker told the FA's official media channel:
He was just there one day so we've just adopted him, me and Stonesy.
- Kyle Walker
Dave became a regular fixture at the team's dinner table, where Walker says he was "welcome" - but not everyone agreed.
Some people really don't like the cat, but I love him.
- Kyle Walker
Bukayo Saka is one of those who is rumored to leap into the air when Dave shows up. The moggy's no-nonsense moniker, according to John Stones, was chosen "just because it's a good name." And when the four-legged dinner guest began to act a little "greedy," he started referring to him as "Big Dave."
In the host nation of Qatar, it is not uncommon to see stray cats hanging around restaurants and hotels.
Dave has not only won the affection of the England players, but also the attention of the media from around the world, who have been asking questions about him in the week leading up to England's match against France in the quarterfinals.
And, according to Walker, Dave just recently got into "a little scrap with another cat," which may have been inspired by the high stakes of that game.
Fighting over territory and the food. But he's doing well.
- Kyle Walker
The English public has a long tradition of having a soft spot in their hearts for famous animals, and Dave is the latest addition to this illustrious list of animals.
One of them has already shared on Twitter his excitement about the impending arrival of the other. Dave left Al Wakrah less than two hours after the rest of the squad did, and his first stop will be at a local veterinarian.
Champions in the making France advanced to the 2022 FIFA World Cup semifinals by defeating England in a thrilling quarterfinal decided by Olivier Giroud's close-range header and Harry Kane's missed penalty at Al Bayt Stadium.
Six minutes from time, Kane blazed a penalty over the crossbar to ensure England did not level for a second time, after matching Wayne Rooney's record of 53 goals for England to draw his side level in the second half.
In the 17th minute, Aurelien Tchouameni gave France the lead with a 25-yard strike that dipped beyond Jordan Pickford's dive.
France had the better of the early going, but they were grateful to goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who earned a record 143rd cap for his country's senior men's team by clawing a powerful long-range drive from Kane around a post to keep his side ahead.
Lloris tipped Jude Bellingham's stinging attempt over the crossbar, and England goalkeeper Pickford saved a Giroud volley from close range as the teams traded chances in the second half.
Kane, a three-time Premier League Golden Boot winner, became the first player since Michal Bilek of Czechoslovakia against the United States in 1990 to both score and miss a penalty.
France will return to the same venue on Wednesday to face Morocco in the semifinals, while England's first defeat in Qatar means they are out, despite a commendable overall performance.
After undergoing a blood test and receiving vaccinations at that location, he will then spend the next four months in quarantine before moving into his new home. So even though there's a chance that football won't return, Dave the cat will.