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Nine of the Azzurri players were moved to economy class after they discovered the plane which will take them to Brazil was too small

Italy's World Cup squad were left in shock after nine players were forced to downgrade to second-class for their flight to Brazil ahead of the tournament.

The Azzurri began their journey to the competition in South America where they will meet Uruguay, England and Costa Rica, kicking off their campaign against Roy Hodgson's side on June 14.

And as the nation's players boarded the plane for the journey the day after their embarrassing 1-1 draw with Luxembourg, extending their winless streak to seven games, they found that it was too small to fit all 23 players in business class.

As a result, the Azzurri's newcomers were shifted into economy class while the stars enjoyed the luxuries of first class. 

Alessio Cerci, Ciro Immobile, Matteo Darmian, Diego Perin, Antonio Mirante, Lorenzo Insigne and Mattia De Sciglio were all downgraded on the plane which will also carry the wives of coach Prandelli, Antonio Cassano and Alberto Aquilani.

The Azzurri will land in Rio de Janeiro on Friday morning and travel to Mangaratiba, where they will be based, which is surrounded by a tropical forest and is situated near the beach of Sao Braz.