England star Kyle Walker has vowed to adopt Dave the cat, who resides at the Three Lions base in Qatar, provided they win the World Cup this winter. Stray felines in Doha are not uncommon, and Express Sport noticed plenty of them during our time there. And it seems the cat has made a big impression on Gareth Southgate’s team, even if not everyone is happy with them…
England players produced the goods on the pitch at the World Cup, winning three of their four matches to book a quarter-final showdown with France on Saturday.
And, off the pitch, they grew up close to some of Qatar’s local animals.
There were a huge amount of stray cats during Express Sport’s stay in Doha, two of which often took refuge in the Media Center – which is located near the National Library of Qatar.
And Walker has pledged to adopt a cat they named Dave if England goes all the way, with John Stones also a fan of the animal.
“If we win the World Cup, I’ll adopt the cat if I can take it back,” he said.
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“Me and John, we can share… we’ll put him on the City training ground.”
A few other England players are fans of Dave, although Bukayo Saka “jumps up” whenever the feline is near.
“Dave, he’s just welcome to the table,” he continued. “There’s me, John [Stones]Kalvin [Phillips] and Raz [Sterling].
“We get a few guest appearances from Phil [Foden] and the other guys who want to join us.
“But everyone seems to be drifting away because we keep inviting the cat…some people really don’t like the cat but I do.”
There is another cat named Paul, who has lost an eye, and is said to be less friendly than Dave.
Walker, who spoke on a video call with the FA, said: “Me, Kyle and Stonesy usually sit in the same corner of the canteen.
“The first night a cat came up to us, so we threw him some chicken and stuff like that.
“And then the next day we went to the same corner and he was sitting there waiting for us…every time we go for food we feed Dave and he sits and relaxes with us.
“He was just there one day, so we just adopted him, me and Stonesy.
“They don’t bother me, obviously cats don’t bother me, but I don’t like to touch them.
Walker hopes to start when England play France on Saturday (7 p.m.), with underdogs the Three Lions for that game.
They will be hoping to claim victory over Didier Deschamps’ side, although they have failed to win against Les Bleus in the last two meetings they have met at major tournaments.
England were beaten 2-1 by France at Euro 2004, Zinedine Zidane scoring a late brace after Frank Lampard’s opener.
And they drew 1-1 when they last met at the European Championships in 2012.
If England win, they will have reached the semi-finals of the World Cup for the second consecutive time after reaching the last four in Russia in 2018.
Kieran Trippier’s goal took the Three Lions through to the final, but Croatia managed to defend to claim victory, breaking a nation’s heart in the process.