DECLAN RICE and Mason Mount are so close even their girlfriends think they love each other more than them.
And England team-mates believe the two are joined at the hip, dubbing them Dumb and Dumber.
But all feelings will be banished to the backs of their minds today when two of the country’s brightest young talents clash on the pitch for the first time as pros.
West Ham midfielder Rice will be the man charged with stopping Mount from being Chelsea’s creative force when the London rivals go square up at Stamford Bridge.
But that didn’t stop the pair linking up this week to rekindle memories of a friendship that stretches back to when they were eight and promises to endure the tests of time.
SunSport’s DUNCAN WRIGHT joined the two 20-year-olds as they took a walk back in time.
Q What do your girlfriends think of this?
DR: My missus is quite worried. I’m genuinely being serious. She’s quite worried.
MM: What was it she was saying when we were away on internationals? Sharing a room together.
DR: Oh she’s just always: ‘You two . . . you love him more than you love me’. Honestly. We just get it in the neck all the time. But they need to understand the friendship.
Q So that viral video, when you scared Dec . . .
DR: Go on mate, you got me, so you explain.
MM: So we were on the boat for the day, relaxing in Dubai. It was so hot. He was so red, like a tomato. Burnt.
So he had to go inside. Thirty seconds from sitting down, he’s snoring away, he’s conked out so I went over, obviously this quite scared him. As soon as it happened I realised this video I had was the best video I’m ever going to have.
DR: I woke up and could see he had this video, he’s on the floor in hysterics, showing his missus going ‘oh my God, look at this video’. They’re both crying. Only when I got back to the hotel did I think ‘that video’s bad’.
MM: We were just watching it for a half an hour afterwards.
DR: I was sat in the hotel with my missus, so he obviously put the video up. I said to her ‘watch this’. I leave my phone for ten-15 minutes, I come back to my phone, right, it’s never blown up so much.
Messages, people on Twitter, people turning it into memes, everything! I was like, ‘listen mate, you’ve ruined my holiday’. I’m gonna say something, I’m gonna say something
MM: Go on . . .
DR: The holiday, it wasn’t planned to go together . . . I had come back from being at the Nations League, he came back from being with the Under-21s.
He came out to Dubai and I was already out there. We had no intention of meeting up but once I knew he was out there that was it. We’re meeting up!
And it was literally five days straight hanging out with each other.
MM: Girlfriends out the window
DR: They were fuming.
MM: Leave them, it is just us two together.
Q So how did this great friendship begin?
DR: We met at the training ground, it would have been on a Tuesday night training. Under-8s, he was there from Under-6s at Chelsea.
MM: I think we hit it off because I had been there a year or two already. When a new person comes in you want to introduce them and make them feel welcome and I probably did that with you. And we kind of just hit it off straight away.
DR: We always used to stay at each other’s house on a Saturday. I remember going to Portsmouth all the time.
They were the best times for me. He had a trampoline in the back garden and a football goal. We would be on the trampoline running around like kids.
On the BMXs on the streets around Portsmouth. It was the same when he came to me around Kingston.
MM: I remember going around his house and his mum taking us in the car down the A3.
DR: You are painting me in a bad light here!
MM: (laughing) He won’t like this one but we used to . . . I know it is dangerous but I am going to tell it!
We used to get pack lunches from football, boxes of couscous and chicken, or a little chocolate bar. Him being a trouble maker, we used to sit in the back and wind the window down and just chuck the food out of the window!
I am looking at him, ‘what are you doing?’ He is just chucking couscous and chicken and chocolate bars out of the window. And his mum was shouting at him.
DR: Luckily enough I have matured since then. When we are with England, in a room together, playing PS4 I will just be making him laugh.
We will be in hysterics together, saying things to each other, doing impressions It is brilliant.
Q Do the England players think you are strange?
MM: Yeah! If we go down to breakfast together, we go to lunch together, dinner together, we are always together, so some of the boys are like . . .
DR: Joined at the hip, you two!
MM: Are you ever going to leave each other alone? They call us dumb and dumber. As we are always together.
Q So Saturday, will you put in a reducer on him?
DR: If the ball’s there to be won I have to win it.
MM: Even if he does we’ll just laugh with each other.
DR: It’s going to be absolutely massive. The fact it’s a London derby as well between the fans, us best friends are going to be on the pitch, it’s going to be really special.
But I’ll say this, Mark Noble’s our captain and he absolutely loves Mase so much. He’s already said to me the other day ‘We’re gonna have to chase that little f****r around on Saturday’. And I’m saying ‘Yeah, I know!’
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MM: Our parents will meet at the game. When Dec left Chelsea my mum and his mum were on the phone crying,
DR: They’re at the game together. He’ll probably give me a lift home.
MM: Depending on the result . . .