England’s hopes of lifting the World Cup might have been dashed but Manchester City duo Kyle Walker and John Stones did not want to leave Qatar completely empty handed – hence they will be taking home a stray cat befriended by the team at their training base.
England came up short against France on Saturday, which clinched a gutsy 2-1 quarterfinal win.
The cat, who Stones named Dave, will have to spend four months in quarantine before he can be reunited with the City duo.
“He was just there one day, so we’ve just adopted him, me and Stonesy,” Walker told the Football Association’s official media channel.
“Dave is welcome to the table … Some people really don’t like the cat, but I love him.”
“First day we got there … Dave pops out,” Stones added.
“Every night he sat there waiting for his food.”
With impromptu visits to stadiums, training sessions and press conferences, cats have stolen the limelight at the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
Cats were seen at the side of the field during France training sessions earlier in the tournament, where forward Randal Kolo Muani joked with reporters that he thought teammate Ousmane Dembele was scared of the animals.
“Yes, cats. There are cats who roam outdoors. When we eat outdoors, there are cats strolling around. And Ousmane is scared of them. It makes everyone laugh,” he said.
Meanwhile, Brazil forward Vinicius Jr. was interrupted by a cat when he spoke at a news conference last week. A member of Brazil’s staff was seen stroking the animal, before picking it up and dropping it off the side of a table.