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World Cup 2018: Harry Kane ‘excited’ for England’s opening match against Tunisia

5:37 am, 18th June 2018

Fewer than 3,000 England fans have made the journey to this historic city and those who have made the trip have been greeted warmly by the locals, who are proud of their new 45,000-seater stadium, built at a cost of £280m.

Security around the city – formerly known as Stalingrad – is tight, though the atmosphere is upbeat here.

This is the poorest of the 11 Russian cities hosting World Cup games, but the local population are big fans of English football and Harry Kane in particular.

“I’m enjoying it, for sure,” the Spurs striker told reporters.

“Not a lot changes (being captain). I’m still the same person, same team-mate.

“I’ve obviously been scoring more in training! I’m proud to be captain and I’m excited to get going.”

More than 1,200 England fans with a history of causing trouble abroad have had their passports confiscated and the UK head of football policing is urging those present to be “great ambassadors” for their country.

“We want everyone to enjoy this World Cup, be the best guests possible and leave Volgograd with everyone talking about how great their English visitors have been,” said Mark Roberts, deputy chief constable of South Yorkshire Police.

The local steel works, Red October, has been shut by the authorities for the duration of the tournament because they’re concerned about air pollution near the stadium.

Workers missing out on full pay have planned a protest in the town for later today.

Everyone else is happy and proud that England – and their star striker Kane – are playing the first of the four World Cup games that this famous old city is hosting.