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Last Updated: Friday October 23 2009 13:32 GMT

Stars back 2018 World Cup bid

England world cup bid

England's 2018 World Cup bid

Football bosses have picked 50 famous players they hope will help bring the World Cup to England in 2018.

The Football Association wants the tournament to be held in England that year, after World Cups in South Africa in 2010 and Brazil in 2014.

It's not just English players that have been chosen to represent the bid, with lots of foreign stars involved too.

The 50 players are called ambassadors, and their job is to tell people how exciting football is in the UK.

Chelsea's German midfielder Michael Ballack and Manchester City's Paraguayan striker Roque Santa Cruz are some of the stars backing the bid.

Golden Decade of Sport
David Beckham, Gordon Brown and Wayne Rooney
2010 - Women's Rugby World Cup in London
2012 - Summer Olympics in London
2013 - Rugby League World Cup in United Kingdom
2014 - Commonwealth Games in Glasgow
2015 - Rugby World Cup in England
2018 - FIFA World Cup in England - IF THE BID WINS
2019 - Cricket World Cup in England

Top names from the England team like David Beckham, Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard are also ambassadors.

The battle to bring the tournament to England started in May, and organisers have until December 2010 to win over enough Fifa members to win the vote.

And they're using some unusual methods to convince those members to choose the English bid, including handing over designer handbags to the wives of the men who'll be selecting the 2018 host country.

Should England host the World Cup in 2018 it would complete an amazing list of major sporting events to be held in the UK between 2010 and 2020, which some people have been calling the "Golden Decade" of sport.


England 2018 ambassadors (English unless stated):

Aaron Mokoena (South Africa), Alan Shearer, Alexandre Song (Cameroon), Andrew Cole, Ashley Young, Brian Deane, Bryan Robson, Carlos Edwards (Trinidad & Tobago), Chris Powell, Cyrille Regis, David Beckham, David James, David Seaman, David Clarke (England Blind Squad), Des Walker, Emile Heskey, Eniola Aluko, Faye White, Gareth Southgate, Gary Lineker, Gary Mabbutt, Gianfranco Zola (Italy), Glenn Hoddle, Graeme Le Saux, Graham Taylor, Howard Wilkinson, James Milner, John Barnes, John Obi Mikel (Nigeria), John Terry, Joseph Yobo (Nigeria), Kanu (Nigeria), Kenwyne Jones (Trinidad & Tobago), Kelly Smith, Kolo Toure (Ivory Coast), Lucas Radebe (South Africa), Luther Blissett, Michael Ballack (Germany), Michael Barker (England Cerebral Palsy Squad), Michael Chopra, Michael Essien (Ghana), Muzzy Izzet (Turkey), Osvaldo Ardiles (Argentina), Paul Elliott, Paul Ince, Paul Parker, Peter Beardsley, Peter Crouch, Peter Shilton, Phil Neville, Ray Clemence, Ray Wilkins, Rachel Brown, Ricardo Villa (Argentina), Rio Ferdinand, Robbie Earle (Jamaica), Roberto Di Matteo (Italy), Robinho (Brazil), Roque Santa Cruz (Paraguay), Salomon Kalou (Ivory Coast), Sol Campbell, Steven Gerrard, Steven Pienaar (South Africa), Stuart Pearce, Sven-Goran Eriksson (Sweden), Teddy Sheringham, Terry Venables, Tony Adams, Tony Woodcock, Victor Anichebe (Nigeria), Viv Anderson, Wayne Rooney, Zesh Rehman (Pakistan).