Niall Quinn is hoping to generate the kind of atmosphere he enjoyed as a player in the Far East by bringing the World Cup to Sunderland.
The Black Cats officially launched their candidacy for the Football Association's attempt to stage the showcase tournament finals in 2018 on Thursday.
Quinn said of his experience at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea: "They put performances on for us as we came off the training ground. They did it every day and they just wanted to show off their culture to us, they were so proud of where they were from. Sunderland people and this region are as well, and it's an opportunity to do that."
He added: "I went out to Japan and Korea and that was just absolutely phenomenal, inspiring.
"You often see training grounds here when the team is training and you might have 100 kids - there were thousands at every training session.
"It will stay with me forever. I know all the Irish team, certainly the mature ones, would say to you it was the best experience.
"I can fast-forward in my mind to the Brazilians coming here and being bowled over - 'By God, this isn't London, this is totally different, this is something we didn't know about.' This is an opportunity for us to do that."