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David Beckham fights World Cup 2018 vote with Manchester United spirit

01 Dec 2010 15:32:22

David Beckham fights World Cup 2018 vote with Manchester United spirit

David Beckham today vowed to fight to the final whistle in England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup - just has he did so many times on the pitch for the Three Lions. The 35-year-old, whose injury-time goal against Greece nine years ago famously secured England's passage to the 2002 finals, insists there is still time to win hearts and minds ahead of Thursday's vote in Zurich. Read more: England boost as Russia PM Putin skips vote Enlarge Fight to the end: Beckham talks up England's chances during a press conference in Zurich this morning Enlarge Confident: Beckham believes England's bid can survive allegations levelled at the FIFA ExCo voters The aim now is to score a winner off thepitch by convincing FIFA's men in suits and he believes all 22 members of the executive committee can be trusted to choose the right host rather than take revenge on the British media for holding them to account. 'I know how important it is to keep fighting till the last minute,' he said, recalling famous late victories during his time under Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. 'I'll be working day and night.' And in comments that might bring a wry smile from proud Scot Ferguson, Beckham added: 'I learned a lot from Sir Alex. 'I have had a few tough challenges throughout my career. It is another one of those things where, when you represent your country, you give everything you have can. 'I have obviously done that on the field a few times and now I am trying to do it off the field.' Enlarge The world is watching: Bid ambassador Beckham faces the media in Zurich There are fears that the BBC's Panorama investigationinto FIFA members and previous press investigations have damaged England's bid, but Beckham said: 'I think we can trust every one of the members. 'At the end of the day they are footballpeople. They are going to want a World Cup in the best country that they think could host the biggest sporting event in the world. Without adoubt we can trust them.' Englandare vying with Russia and a joint bid from Spain and Portugal for the right to host the finals in eight years' time. Holland and Belgium are also bidding together but are seen as very much the outsiders. Enlarge Seventh heaven: Beckham famously fires his free kick against Greece in October 2001 Enlarge Our hero: Beckham celebrates with Heskey Beckham arrived in Zurich on Tuesday along with Prime Minister David Cameron and Prince William and each has been tirelessly lobbying voters. In contrast, Spain and Portugal's last-minute activity has been low key, while Russia have failed in producing Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as a trump card to dazzle the dignitaries. Beckham believes the presence of Cameron and Prince William could be key and getting the country over the line. 'To have that weight behind the bid is ahuge thing for us,' he said. Enlarge [caption Elle of an attractive bid... While England's bid team for the 2018 World Cup was dominated by men, Australia wheeled out supermodel Elle Macpherson for their attempts to land the 2022 finals. That's one way of winning over FIFA's chiefs... 'I saw that in Singapore when Tony Blair was there for the whole (Olympic) bid process. You feel how important itis to have them there. 'I was working with the Prime Minister and Prince William until late last night. I know this morning Prince William was up at 7 or 7.30 having breakfast with one of the members. 'Everything has been positive so far. We haveobviously listened to the feedback and the ideas we feel we need to be pushing in the next few days and we are working on it. 'It is just putting the icing on what we have done so far. We've done everything to put ourselves in the best position possible.' Cameron jetted back to London for Prime Minister's Questions at Westminster on Wednesday afternoon but will return to Zurich soon after. He kicked off PMQs by saying how positive he was about the 2018 World Cup bid, and urged get behind it. Labour leader Ed Miliband wished the Prime Minister well. Mr Cameron told MPs: 'This morning I returned from Zurich where I have been meeting with decision makers aiming to convince them of what a brilliant World Cup England could host in 2018. 'I do think that England 2018 has got a very, very strong bid. If you look at the technical aspects we have got the stadia, we have got the facilities, we have the transport networks, we have the enthusiasm within our country for football and we can put on an absolutely first class World Cup. 'I know that many people will ask "are you spending too much time on something that might not succeed?" and I would say if you don't get on to the pitch you have no chance of winning and I think we should all get behind the bid.' Mr Miliband said: 'Ours is, as you say, a fantastic bid and all of us will be hoping for a successful outcome.' Meanwhile, England's bid received a huge boost today after Vladimir Putin, prime minister of Russia, confirmed he would not be travelling to Zurich for the World Cup vote. Russia are one of England's main rivals and Putin appeared to criticise the FIFA process. Bust day: David Cameron speaks during Prime Minister's Questions at the House of Commons Putin is quoted as saying: 'I would have liked to have gone myself but in these conditions I have decided not to travel... so that they can make a decision without any pressure from the outside.' Putin said deputy prime minister Igor Shuvalov would attend Thursday's vote and that Russia had faced 'unscrupulous competition'. VIDEO: Beckham takes centre stages to win voters for England's bid...  England on a high as Putin shuns vote and Ronaldo cancels Zurich tripRoaring back: Three Lions Cameron, Beckham and Prince William steer England closer to winning World Cup 2018 bid raceBecks delivers a lesson in diplomacy on the World Cup 2018 bid trailCharles Sale: England clear a path to victory in World Cup bid battleThe FIFA Four who BBC's Panorama accuse of bribery...MARTIN SAMUEL: Let's club together and give FIFA hell  Explore more:People: David Beckham, Vladimir Putin, David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Tony Blair, Elle Macpherson Places: London, Spain, Portugal, Greece, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Belgium, Russia, Australia, Singapore


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