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Gary Neville Accused of Angry Rant at Rio Cameraman on England World Cup Walk

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JUNE 07:  Assistant coach Gary Neville of England gives instructions during the International Friendly match between England and Honduras at the Sun Life Stadium on June 7, 2014 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Rory MarsdenFeatured ColumnistJune 9, 2014

Gary Neville has been accused of ranting at a cameraman on a Rio de Janiero beach just hours after the England team's arrival in Brazil on Sunday ahead of the start of the World Cup.

The former England defender and one of Roy Hodgson's assistants was taking a walk with other members of the coaching staff on Sao Conrado beach when he began being questioned by journalists.

One individual reportedly pursued the former Manchester United captain for over a mile before being shouted at by Neville to leave him alone, per Gustavo Rotstein of Brazilian website Globo Esporte (h/t 101 Great Goals):

"Do you speak English?" Neville reportedly asked. "So beat it! I just want to walk the beach."

He then supposedly put his hand over the camera being wielded at him and swore, though reports suggest Neville showed restraint considering the harassment he had been receiving, per the Mirror.

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JUNE 07:  Daniel Sturridge of England sustains a heavy tackle during the International Friendly match between England and Honduras at the Sun Life Stadium on June 7, 2014 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Im
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

England's World Cup campaign gets underway on Saturday with their first group game against Italy, after three warm-up games produced a win over Peru and draws with Ecuador and Honduras.

The Three Lions look to be without injury ahead of the Manaus encounter after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's fitness was confirmed by Hodgson, per The Times' Oliver Kay:

Liverpool's Raheem Sterling will be eligible also after he was suspended for Saturday's 0-0 draw with Honduras in Miami after being sent off against Ecuador.

His Reds teammate Jordan Henderson thinks Sterling could prove an effective surprise package having not started any of the warm-up games, per John Cross in the Mirror:

Possibly it could make him a secret weapon because he’s not played [in the friendlies]. Obviously, he will have been disappointed he could not feature, but in training he has looked very, very good, so he’ll be thriving on this.

As well as Italy, England will meet Uruguay and Costa Rica in their Group D matches, with Colombia or Ivory Coast likely last-16 opponents if Hodgson's side can make it to the knockout rounds.

The week leading up to England's opener will see final preparations being made by Hodgson and his backroom staff, with training winding down by the end of the week.

There's no doubt Neville will play a key part in preparing England's defence, which will need to be robust against Italy if they are to claim a galvanising opening victory.

It seems unlikely that the United legend's brief encounter with a cameraman will cause any interruption to England's carefully planned preparations. 

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