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David Ginola ( ; born 25 January 1967 in Gassinmarker, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azurmarker) is a former French international football player who has also worked as an actor and model.

He began his football career in his native France before moving to England in 1995 when he signed for Newcastle United and stayed in the country until retiring seven years later, having subsequently turned out for Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa and Everton. He was also a regular player for the French national team during the 1990s.

During his career he cultivated a reputation as a stylish maverick, often clashing with his coaches. Since his retirement from the game in 2002 he has become involved in several new pursuits, including acting.

Club career

Ginola played at club level for Toulon (1985–88), Racing Club Paris (1988–90), Brest (1990–92), Paris Saint-Germain (1992–95), Newcastle United (1995–97), Tottenham Hotspur (1997–2000), Aston Villa (2000–2002) and Everton (2002).

France

Ginola made his first senior appearance for Sporting Toulon as an eighteen year-old in a 1985 2-0 victory away at Metzmarker. He played fourteen times in his first season, and by 1986 he was a regular in the Toulon line-up.

In 1988 he moved to Racing Club Paris, where he remained until signing for Brest in 1990 and Paris-Saint Germain in 1992.

Newcastle United

In 1995, Ginola joined Newcastle United for £2.5 million. He was signed at a time when manager Kevin Keegan was attempting to turn the club into one of the major forces in English football, and the board was prepared to offer strong financial backing to sign a number of European superstars. In the 1995-96, Newcastle finished second, four points behind Manchester United their strongest league performance in decades with Ginola an integral part of the team. The team chemistry was perfect with Ginola fitting in nicely with his new teammates. However, it was a major disappointment that Newcastle had finished second in the Premier League as they had led by up to 10 points as late as January.

In 1996, Barcelona made a move for him, but Newcastle rejected their offer. Ginola later stated his regret that he had never played for one of the "big clubs". To add to their line-up, Newcastle paid £15m, breaking the transfer record, to sign Alan Shearer. Despite this, Newcastle finished second again, being narrowly overtaken by Manchester United. Halfway through the season, Kevin Keegan suddenly resigned as manager to be succeeded by Kenny Dalglish.

After two years with the club. Keegan had departed in January 1997 and Ginola did not get on with his replacement Kenny Dalglish, who never fancied the Frenchman.

Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hostpur signed Ginola in July 1997 for £2.5m, where he was joined by Newcastle team-mate Les Ferdinand. In 1999, he was named PFA Players' Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year, while playing for Tottenham Hotspur. He is still the only player in Premiership history to have won the award whilst at a club who finished the season outside of the top 4. He also won his only English domestic trophy with Spurs, the 1999 League Cup with a 1-0 victory over Leicester City at Wembley Stadiummarker. Ginola is fondly remembered by Spurs fans, for his extravagant forward play and personality off the pitch. He played an integral role in their 1999 League Cup win, setting up the winner for Allan Nielsen in the final and scoring a long range goal in a 3-1 win against Manchester United in a previous round. The respect and fondness Tottenham fans have for Ginola was shown when he was given one of the biggest cheers on their 125th anniversary when legends were paraded on the pitch. It has been announced that Ginola will be in inducted into the Tottenham Hostpur Hall of Fame on 11th December.

Aston Villa

In July 2000 Ginola joined Aston Villa for a transfer fee of £3 million. He expressed his disappointment that Tottenham had sold him, saying the news that they had accepted the offer was a "bombshell". Villa manager John Gregory challenged Ginola to prove he could still perform in the Premiership, rather than move to a less demanding league abroad, as Ginola was now in his 33rd year and seemed unlikely to continue at professional level for much longer.

In January 2002 he was banned for two matches and fined £22,000 for stamping on an opponent and disputing his dismissal with the fourth official.

Everton

In 2002 Ginola signed for Everton playing five games for the club before retiring in May 2002, just after David Moyes took over as manager. He announced his intention to move into either acting or football coaching.

International career

Although Ginola was a very prominent French player, he did not see much action with the French national team, having been capped only 17 times in his career.

In qualification for the 1994 FIFA World Cup, France needed only a draw at home to Bulgaria in their final game, with the match poised at 1–1 Ginola overhit a cross and sent the ball to the opposing team. This allowed the Bulgarian's to break from defense and resulted in Emil Kostadinov scoring a surprise winner to knock France out. The French manager Gérard Houllier blamed the entire defeat on Ginola, and he was subsequently branded an assassin of French football. After being barracked by French fans, Ginola moved to England with Newcastle United

Aimé Jacquet did not select Ginola for any major tournaments. Ginola played his last match for the national team in 1995. He played no part in the French FIFA World Cup winning squad of 1998, nor the side that won the European Championship in 2000.

Playing style

Ginola was renowned for his "magical" touch on the ball and his ability to get past players from any type of position and then manage to score a goal. His ability to do that was shown in games for Tottenham and Newcastle, with his most memorable goal in Newcastle's stunning 5–0 win over Premier League giants Manchester United on 20 October 1996, becoming a flamboyant part of the memorable "Entertainers" Newcastle side of his era, which also featured other highly acclaimed players including Alan Shearer, Les Ferdinand, Rob Lee and Keith Gillespie.

In 1999 before the Euro 2000 tournament, Dutch legend Johan Cruijff remarked that it was his belief that Ginola was currently the best player in the world.

Acting

Ginola has acted in two films since his retirement from football. He played the title role in the short comedy Mr Firecul and Corporal Dieter Max in the 2005 war film The Last Drop.

Ginola's reputation was enhanced during his time in England when he starred in a commercial for L'Oréal hair products. In 1996, he featured in the ITV commercial for the Renault Laguna motor car.

Also, in 2000, Ginola made a cameo appearance in the first episode of the ITV drama series At Home with the Braithwaites. He played himself, announcing the results for the first ever Euro Lottery.

He also appeared in the second season of Channel 4's 'Coach Trip' during episode 22, in which he acted as a tour guide of Ste Maxime.

Cameo appearance as Daveed Ginjola in Beezly'n'Cool comic September 2009

Wine making

In 2008 Ginola received a silver medal at the International Wine Challenge for a rosé wine produced at his vineyard in Provence.

Honours

Paris SG
* Championat de France: 1994
* Coupe de France: 1993, 1995
* Coupe de la Ligue: 1995


Tottenham Hotspur
* Football League Cup: 1999


Awards

Tottenham Hotspur


References

  1. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-97359087.html
  2. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1601112/


External links




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