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Page last updated at 13:20 GMT, Thursday, 17 September 2009 14:20 UK

Argentines back England Cup bid

Ossie Ardiles (left) and Ricky Villa (right)
Ardiles (left) and Villa (right) joined Spurs in 1978

The team responsible for England's 2018 World Cup bid has signed up Argentine duo Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa to be members of their 'ambassador squad'.

The ex-Tottenham duo will be part of a 30-strong group of former and current players used to promote the bid to win the right to stage the tournament.

The involvement of England stars David Beckham and Wayne Rooney had already been announced.

"I'm honoured and will do all I can for the bid," Ardiles told ESPN Soccernet.

Ardiles and Villa, both former Argentina internationals, played for Spurs in the late 1970s and 1980s and famously helped the club lift the FA Cup in 1981, with Villa scoring twice.

English football has the best stadia, the best supporters creating the best atmosphere and players from all over the world, just like myself, love playing in English football

Ossie Ardiles

Following his time as a player at Tottenham, Ardilles went on to play for QPR and Swindon in this country and subsequently managed the Robins before brief spells in charge at Newcastle, West Brom and Spurs.

Ardiles revealed that he was delighted to have been asked to participate in England's bid by the chairman of the Football Association, Lord Triesman.

"Ricky and I consider England to be our home, certainly the home of football," added Ardiles. "Although Ricky lives in Argentina now he comes over all the time and will be returning yet again next month.

"English football has the best stadia, the best supporters creating the best atmosphere and players from all over the world, just like myself, love playing in English football, given the chance.

"I believe that England will win the bid process."

606: DEBATE

The full list of players recruited to the 'ambassador squad' will be unveiled in the next few weeks.

The bid was officially launched in May this year with a party at Wembley and has so far garnered the backing of all three major UK political parties as well as support from a number of leading figures from the world of football, including Pele and Franz Beckenbauer.

Fifa will decide who hosts the 2018 and 2022 tournaments in December 2010.

The decision rests with Fifa's 24-man executive committee. Spain and Russia are expected to be England's main rivals in Europe, while the United States and Australia are among the other countries bidding.

In all, nine countries are bidding to host the World Cup in either 2018 or 2022, with two more nations focusing their bids on 2022 alone.


Countries bidding to host the World Cup

2018 or 2022: Australia, Belgium-Netherlands (joint bid), England, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Portugal-Spain (joint bid), Russia, US

2022: Qatar, South Korea



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see also
West Brom back 2018 World Cup bid
05 Aug 09 |  West Brom
Rivals unite for World Cup bid
23 Jul 09 |  Merseyside
Beckenbauer boost for England bid
05 Jul 09 |  Internationals
2012 stadium 'for World Cup bid'
30 Jun 09 |  London
Triesman calls for World Cup bid support
18 May 09 |  Internationals
Pele backs England World Cup bid
07 Nov 07 |  Football


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