UK & World News
England Lose Dancing But Win Charm Offensive
On their first full day in Brazil, England set out to charm their hosts for what they hope will be a lengthy stay.
Training for the first time at the Urca military camp, they threw open the doors to local children and then staged a photocall in Rocinha, the huge favela that sits on the hill behind their five-star hotel.
Both events proved Roy Hodgson's team have an itinerary that will delight the Brazilian Tourist Board. They can never have been based anywhere more spectacular.
They also showed that with the FA determined to avoid the mistakes of previous campaigns, this squad has a refreshing approach to the responsibilities that come with representing their country.
These were mandatory events, a Fifa requirement of all competing teams, but they were done with a smile, which has not always been the case with England.
In Germany in 2006 and South Africa four years ago, England's base camp played a part in the deeply disappointing performances.
The WAG circus of Baden-Baden provided great entertainment for the media but proved a major distraction to the players.
And in Rustenburg four years ago, Fabio Capello misjudged the boredom threshold of his squad, leaving them stir-crazy and mutinous.
This time there can be no excuse for the players.
They are in a hotel on one of Rio's most exclusive beaches and Urca is breathtaking. If British army camps looked like this we would campaign for conscription.
But there appears to be a fresh attitude among the players too. This is a group full of players about to compete in their first World Cup in Brazil and they appear to appreciate how lucky they are.
The players who went to Rocinha certainly seemed relaxed.
Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck accepted a challenge from the local capoeira troop, performing a series of cartwheels and handstands that will have given Hodgson kittens.
But they emerged unscathed and their confidence and evident pleasure interacting with the locals was infectious.
At training meanwhile it was striking that, even in an open session, the players were committed and focused.
All in all, it was a worryingly good first day for Hodgson and his players.
Surely it can't last, can it?