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England legend Glenn Hoddle has revealed the 1986 squad refused to drink alcohol during the World Cup in Mexico.
The Three Lions took to central America with a stellar squad that included the likes of Bryan Robson, Gary Lineker and a young John Barnes. While Sir Bobby Robson’s side were under pressure to achieve big things, no one would have been surprised to hear of the players letting loose with the occasional beer, given English football culture at the time.
But Hoddle revealed in an exclusive interview with Daily Star Sport, via Betfair, that England stars made a conscious decision to stay teetotal for the duration of the tournament after learning a harsh lesson.
READ MORE: England World Cup aces lost 11lbs in 1986 clash in warning to Three Lions stars in Qatar
The ex-Tottenham Hotspur midfielder said the decisive moment was the 1985 Ciudad de Mexico Cup a year before the World Cup, which saw Italy, England and the home nation battle it out in a mini-tournament.
A few nights off saw the players drink and enjoy themselves. But they quickly realised the error of their ways after struggling in searing heat the following days.
Hoddle explained: “We learnt a lot as players. It wasn’t the staff [that told us not to drink]. We came away from that thinking ‘crikey, if we qualify for the World Cup and get there, there’s no way we could do that’.
“[During the World Cup] we had another night where the wives flew out to visit us in Colorado and we had a beer, and then we all said ‘no alcohol until we get knocked out’. It hit us that it was going to be tough.”
Remembering the difficult conditions, he added: “Me and Kenny Sansom were in this big hotel in Mexico City, the lifts weren’t working so we walked up three flights of stairs and we had to stop. We were breathing out our a***s!”
England found themselves “slaughtered by the press” ahead of the final group stage game against Poland, having lost their World Cup opener to Portugal and drawn with Morocco. But despite the pressure, sweltering heat and unforgiving altitude, Hoddle still looks back fondly at the ways he and his teammates unwound.
He said: “We had a good bunch of lads. Kenny Sansom was a funny, funny guy. We all got on really well and we had a lot of characters there.
“There was this lovely monastery we went to in between games, we had rehab in the swimming pool after the games,” before adding: “The doc used to blow his whistle, we were allowed 10 minutes on our front and 10 minutes on our back sunbathing.
“He’d blow the whistle and we’d have to turn over! I was surprised they allowed us that but a little bit of sun’s good for your recovery. That was quite funny.”
This World Cup with Betfair, when you bet £10 on the Golden Boot winner you can get a £2 free bet anytime they score or assist full details here.
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