Harpenden based Arsenal player Jack Wilshere looking forward to World Cup match

Harpenden based Gunner Jack Wilshere is excited about the World Cup. Photo courtesy @JackWilshere

Harpenden based Gunner Jack Wilshere is excited about the World Cup. Photo courtesy @JackWilshere - Credit: Photo courtesy @JackWilshere

Harpenden’s Jack Wilshere and fellow Gunners on duty in Brazil during the World Cup are excited about the competition, and have enjoyed mingling with football fans in South America.

Arsenal stars - who train at London Colney and live in or near the village - in Brazil include Jack and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlian (England); Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny and Bacary Sagna (France); Per Mertesacker, Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski (Germany); Thomas Vermaelen (Belgium); Joel Campbell (Costa Rica); Santi Cazorla (Spain) and Johan Djourou (Switzerland).

Olivier Giroud said that French fans are expecting “a lot” from Les Bleus.

Lukas Podolski has admitted that Germany has its work cut out if they are to progress to the knockout stage of the World Cup.

Meanwhile, Mesut Ozil said he believed that opponents will want to avoid Germany at the competition.

And ahead of tomorrow’s Three Lions (Saturday) match against Italy, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has simply tweeted: “And so it begins…”

England arrived in Manaus on Wednesday afternoon, where they have been gearing up for their World Cup opener at the Arena da Amazonia.

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They had previously been in Rio, where Jack tweeted that he had fun meeting youngsters and he was “very proud” that the England Footballers Foundation has been supporting the Complexo Esportivo da Rocinha.

It is a sports complex which has helped regenerate an area, and England’s footballers engaged with the local community during their recent visit.

The FA has put video footage of the Three Lions squad arriving to a “rapturous welcome by local fans” on YouTube.

Fans have been posting comments, wishing the team luck.

The game, which is being shown from 11pm Saturday June 14, on BBC1, will be watched by a 46,000 capacity crowd in Manaus as well as by tens of millions of people here in England.