England’s Euro 2016 squad is the most exciting since the World Cup winning team of 1966, says Sir Geoff Hurst.
Hurst scored a hat-trick in that World Cup final victory 50 years ago and praised the current crop of players as they arrived at their base in Chantilly, France.
Roy Hodgson’s squad has an average age of 25 – the youngest at the tournament.
Hurst said: “It’s the most exciting squad since ’66 – people like Dele Alli have come in and been very refreshing.”
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live, Hurst added: “He’s played, even in the friendlies, like it’s the World Cup final.”
England squad arrives
The England camp touched down in Paris before a bus trip to their Chantilly headquarters 20 miles north in the Picardy region.
“The first thing the team will be struck by is the stunning entrance into the town of Chantilly,” said BBC Radio 5 live senior football reporter Ian Dennis.
“There is a stretch of cobbled road which is a completely idyllic setting. There is the chateaux kept with its immaculate gardens and I’m sure security will be tight.”
On arriving in France, Chelsea defender Gary Cahill said the mood in the squad was “nice, relaxed and calm”.
Mayor Eric Woerth greeted Hodgson and his players on their arrival and said: “There is no better place for them to be. This is a small part of England in France.”
The squad’s reception included horses and riders donning ceremonial costume from the nearby Museum of the Horse, while hunting horns sounded as the coaching staff and players made their way off the coach.
England will hold an open training session at their base on Tuesday, with their first game on Saturday, 11 June against Russia.
Northern Ireland base ‘couldn’t be better’
Northern Ireland were one of the first squads to arrive in France, landing in Lyon on Sunday afternoon.
They were met by local dignitaries before police escorted the squad bus to their secluded hotel in Saint-Georges-de-Reneins and held a training session on Monday.
“It couldn’t be better and the hotel is excellent too. The players think it is brilliant,” said manager Michael O’Neill.
Northern Ireland will have four more training sessions and, on Saturday, the squad will have a work-out at the 35,000-capacity Stade de Nice in the build up to their first match on Sunday, which is against Poland.
Wales were beaten 3-0 by Sweden in a warm-up game on Sunday and flew out to their French training base in Dinard after the defeat.
Manager Chris Coleman said he was concerned about complacency, with Wales having won just once in their last seven games.
They face Slovakia, England and Russia in Group B at Euro 2016.
Midfielder Aaron Ramsey said the team was “confident” they would improve on their current form.