Dave the Cat heading home from World Cup with Kyle Walker, John Stones and England squad

Football may not be coming home, but Dave the cat most certainly is.

After England lost to France in the World Cup quarter-final, the squad began their journey back from their Al Wakrah hotel base on Sunday afternoon.

They will eventually be joined by Dave, the cat who spent time around the players and was adopted as their mascot.

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Manchester City duo John Stones and Kyle Walker were pictured with Dave on most evenings and, speaking in the week building up to the France game, the latter was asked about their feline friend.

“Dave is fine,” said Walker. “He had a little scrap with another cat the other night. I think they are fighting over territory and the food. But he’s doing well.

“Hopefully I can stick to my promise that he will come home with us if we were to win the World Cup. Dave’s fine, thank you for asking.”

Now, despite England not going all the way to World Cup glory, the players have decided they will still rehome Dave in the UK.

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He left Al Wakrah just two hours after the squad had departed and will first head to a local veterinary clinic.

There he will have a blood test and receive vaccinations, spending four months in quarantine before heading to his new home.