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World Cup 98: Why Beckham And Gazza Will Bring England Glory

Beckham ShirtWe are now just two months away from the start of the FIFA World Cup 1998. Hosted in France, the tournament looks destined to become a defining moment in world football with the competing teams expanded from 24 to 32 for the first time ever. One of those teams competing will be Glenn Hoddle€™s England. A remarkable performance in Rome last year, in which England where sturdy and stoic in the face of Italian pressure means that England go into the competition with the confidence that they can battle it out with the world€™s best. That performance may come to epitomize what Hoddle€™s England is all about. Tactically astute, flexible and with an important balance of youth and experience, England have cause to be excited. Indeed, all over the pitch that night, England had the makings of an exceptional international side. In the middle of the park Paul Gascoigne provided a smart counterpoint to Paul Ince€™s commanding approach. Still capable of deft touches and the occasional moment of absolute magic, Gascoigne remains a genuine talent and his passion and enthusiasm for international football and jovial spirit around the camp will surely mean that Hoddle takes the 30 year old to France. Gazza, though no longer the dynamic engine of old is an English footballing icon and his return to England after signing for Middlesbrough from Rangers last month is surely a sign of him offering up his talents more directly to Hoddle. It would be foolish not to take him; in fact, we probably owe him one last World Cup, after the tears of 1990. One player who€™s also used to tears is David Beckham. They€™re not his own tears of course, but the tears of adoring female fans who worship the floppy-haired hunk. Indeed, Beckham€™s recent engagement to Spice Girl €˜Posh Spice€™ (she€™s the thin one who wears leather) has ascended his relative fame beyond pundits and football fans and into the sphere of tabloids and paparazzi and screaming teenage girls. If Beckham€™s footballing style is anything to go by though, his new found fame will not affect him. David Beckham, at just 21 years old, plays with the elegant poise of an elder statesman. Classy, effective and consistently calm on the ball, he has matured quicker than most and rejects silly skirmishes in favour of spectacular goals and a clean technique. As one of the most exciting prospects that this World Cup has to offer, he will surely make his mark somehow. With Gascoigne€™s experience and Beckham€™s flair, England have a real chance of making history in France. Will we finally put an end to 32 years of hurt? Or will we lose on penalties again? Let's wait and see.
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