ENGLAND footie stars have been twisting their melons to sink Scotland tomorrow — by working out with fruit-patterned underwater balls.
Players love kickabouts with “watermelon balls” at their training base. The soft, coloured globes can be kicked or thrown up to 10ft under water.
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The team — managed by Gareth Southgate — had a splashing time at St George’s Park yesterday as the final countdown began to the Battle of Britain Euro 2020 showdown at Wembley.
Coaching staff at the camp in Burton-on-Trent, Staffs, introduced the bizarre balls in place of the unicorn pool inflatables which players loved at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
They allow the stars to enjoy fun games with minimal impact on tired joints and muscles. Tyrone Mings, 28, Phil Foden, 21, Kyle Walker, 31, and Jordan Pickford, 27, were snapped with their new toys.
A Three Lions source said: “The atmosphere in the camp is very relaxed but very focused.
"The players seem to be enjoying themselves.
“It’s hard training then recovering from the physical and mental stress of such big games.
“Having fun is a big part of keeping them happy and sharp for the next challenge. The watermelon balls have been a big hit.”
The Sun revealed yesterday how players are relaxing between games in a cocoon-like yoga “Hotpod” with chill-out tunes and relaxing aromas piped in.
The Watermelon Ball combo pack like those used by the stars costs just £9.99. They include one patterned like a green watermelon and another multi-coloured version.
Makers Cardonely say on their website: “Watermelon Ball is a water-filled ball that mimics the flotation of a watermelon, the ball will sink slowly then rise to the surface when thrown in the water.
“The ball can be bounced, dribbled and passed under water making it great for all sorts of water games.”
The England team released snaps on social media of Aston Villa centre back Mings poised to throw one of the balls and Manchester City’s Foden and Walker and Everton goalie Pickford joining the fun.
The photos were captioned: “Making a splash”. But some fans said they missed the inflatables. Luke Oliver tweeted: “Where’s the unicorn?”.
Jack Blake added: “Need Maguire on a unicorn” and Nicola Ferris said: “Get the unicorns out.”
A win for the Three Lions over Scotland would ensure them a place in the tournament’s last 16.
Wales took a huge step towards that stage by beating Turkey 2-0 yesterday, despite star man Gareth Bale missing a penalty.