England arrived in Brazil on Sunday after receiving a good luck message from Morrissey, Leighton Baines has revealed.
The former Smiths’ frontman was staying in the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Miami during England’s week-long stay there this week.
And self-confessed music nut Baines simply could not let the week go by without meeting one of his idols.
Baines just about mustered enough courage to go and speak to Morrissey, although he was the only member of the squad who knew who the rock star was.
“I knew he had played in Miami that week so I had a chat with him and he wished us good luck,” the England defender said.
“I was a bit nervous about speaking to him because I didn’t know how it would be received.
“I don’t know if he knew who I was. I don’t know if anyone else other than (coach) Gary Neville knew who he was.”
Morrissey and England parted ways on Saturday night when the squad flew to Rio de Janeiro to begin the final leg of their World Cup preparations.
There were a few battered and bruised bodies on the chartered jet that flew the squad to Brazil following a feisty, but ultimately scoreless, send off against Honduras.
Referee Ricardo Salazar handed Honduras five yellow cards, including two for Brayan Beckeles, who was sent off in the 66th minute for a flying elbow on Baines.
The Everton defender also entered the book for a innocuous challenge on Wilson Palacios, who rolled about on the floor following the slightest of touches from England’s left-back.
Baines approached the former Spurs midfielder to ask him why he had gone down so easily and he was soon confronted by four burly Hondurans.
Baines showed maturity by not reacting and he was glad the rest of his team-mates did so throughout the game.
“We did well to keep our composure,” Baines added.
“I thought a few of the challenges were a bit harsh.
“There was a bad one on Stevie (Gerrard). I was just glad to see him get up after that.
“You didn’t see us running over and making a meal of it. The one incident I got booked for I went over and asked him why he went down and suddenly there were three or four people around me. You just have to walk away from it because they are making a meal of it, it’s a lesson for us.”
After three weeks together, Baines thinks England are primed and ready for what awaits them in Brazil.
“We are looking forward to it,” the former Wigan man said.
“We feel we are in a good place.
“We had a good week in Miami, we adjusted to the heat and the time zone.
“We have been together for three weeks, but it hasn’t actually felt that long. It has flown by really.”