Ginola joins 2018 World Cup bid

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The Independent Football

England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup has been given an injection of Gallic charm with David Ginola joining the campaign as an ambassador.

The former Newcastle, Tottenham and Aston Villa star now lives back in his native France but is a well-known figure in England because of his exploits in the Premier League.

Ginola is not the only overseas personality among the team of ambassadors, with Chelsea midfielders Michael Essien, John Obi Mikel and Michael Ballack also on board along with former Tottenham player and manager Ossie Ardiles among many others.

Ginola, who was part of the bid to include Newcastle and Gateshead as one of the host venues for the tournament, said: "I had a tremendous time playing in front of passionate English crowds. They always brought the best out of me and I feel they would spur the world's greatest players into producing a truly memorable tournament if the World Cup was staged in England.

"People all over the world love watching English football and every visiting team, player and supporter would find a home-from-home welcome at a World Cup in England. It would inspire fans everywhere and I am proud to be backing England 2018."

Ginola's role as an ambassador will be to support the bid team at home and abroad at meetings which may prove crucial to England being confirmed as the successful bidders by FIFA in early December.

England 2018 bid chief executive Andy Anson added: "It is a glowing endorsement of English football that so many foreign players have stepped forward to support us.

"David Ginola was an exceptionally talented footballer and is a charismatic international figure. He will be an excellent ambassador for the bid and we look forward to working with him over the course of the campaign."