World Cup Insider: England third most valuable squad

First published in Sport

ENGLAND have the third most valuable squad at the World Cup behind Germany and Spain, according to a report.

With an estimated insurable value of £550m, England are almost three-times more valuable than group rivals Italy.

The study by Lloyd's and the Centre for Economics and Business Research lists the average value of one England player as more than the whole Costa Rica team.

The insurance-related figures are based on club earnings and endorsement incomes of the 23-man World Cup squads.

The 32 teams at the finals have a collective estimated value of £6.2bn.

Germany, boasting Toni Kroos, Philipp Lahm and Mesut Ozil, top the list at £642m, with hosts Brazil, who can call on Neymar, Hulk, Oscar and Dani Alves, fourth at £448m.

Defending world champions Spain, with the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Diego Costa in their squad, are second at £591m - double the estimated value of their closest Group B rivals Netherlands, who they beat 1-0 in the 2010 World Cup final in South Africa.

LONDON’S Italy supporters will be crying into their spaghetti if their team are beaten by England tomorrow night as the Azzurri's loyal fans in the capital gather to watch the game at an Italian restaurant in Aldwych.

Italy's public national broadcaster, RAI Italia, will be filming live at Cucina Asellina restaurant and bar together with dozens of passionate supporters.

Those watching the game will be offered a bowl of traditional Italian 'Spaghett aglio, olio e peperoncino' - spaghetti oil, garlic and chilli - at half-time.

BBC pundit Robbie Savage nearly missed his flight to Brazil after accidentally taking his wife's passport to the airport instead of his own.

Savage's wife Sarah has similar long, blonde hair and the former Blackburn midfielder later admitted he may have passed through security with her picture anyway.

He tweeted: "Second time it's happened I'm going to have to tell my wife to get her haircut" before adding, "Nearly passed for her to be fair!"

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