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11th Dec 2022

Declan Rice and his spare suitcase head for home without World Cup trophy

Patrick McCarry

Declan Rice

One wonders if the suitcase will make the trip back to England.

Declan Rice was one of the most vocal, and positive, about England’s World Cup chances.

The West Ham midfielder felt England had every right to be confident in targeting a first World Cup triumph in 56 years, especially with the wealth of talent in the squad. Last Sunday’s win over Senegal, which teed up a quarter final against France, had Rice telling critics of Gareth Southgate to eat their words.

“Every time we win a game, people always try to pick apart [our performance],” he declared, ” but if it was another nation, they would be talking about how it was a masterclass.”

“These are the games you want to play in,” Rice added, “and what an achievement and feeling it would be to knock France out.”

As it turned out, France were the ones doing the knocking out. Their 2-1 victory, on Saturday, sees them advance to a semi-final against Morocco, while England head for home with that World Cup wait now extending to at least 60 years.

Following England’s World Cup exit, the pre-tournament statement of Declan Rice about an empty suitcase has been recirculated.

Declan Rice

Declan Rice and the empty suitcase

Ahead of the tournament, squad footage from the England camp saw Declan Rice arrive with his luggage for Qatar. In the footage, Rice spoke with a driver about one extra suitcase he had brought.

“There’s nothing in that one,” he said. “That’s a spare. Hopefully I’ll bring home the trophy in this one.”

Asked about that suitcase, head of the win over Senegal, Rice told reporters:

“It was actually for spare clothes! Going back to the Euros, we got so much stuff and I knew that taking a spare case would be needed. It’s actually full up in my room, right now, with spare clothes and trainers.

“Look, it would be nice to bring the World Cup back in it but, at the moment, it’s got my spare clothes in it.”

After the 2-1 loss to France, those spare clothes and trainers will not be joined by a World Cup trophy for that journey back to England.

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