From 'Assassin of French soccer' to Premier League icon - the best moments of David Ginola

David Ginola is going to pick up a host of new fans after signing up for I'm A Celebrity. However, for those who remember his soccer career, he'll always be a star - unless you support France...

David Ginola is the latest soccer player to tackle the challenge of I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!

His appearance will probably divide viewers into two camps: those too young to really know who he is, and those old enough to remember just how brilliant he was and want to relive some of his iconic moments.

Either way, we have you covered.

'Stabbing France in the back'

It's perhaps odd to start on what could be perceived as a low point in David Ginola's career, but this incident encapsulated the devotion to playing the game joyously that ultimately defined him as a player.

In November 1997, France played a crucial World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria. France, playing at home, only needed a draw, and in the 94th minute that's what they had.

Ginola had the ball in the corner, but instead of running down the clock he sent over a cross. It landed at the feet of the Bulgarian left-back, who started the move that saw the visitors grab a dramatic winner.

France had failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup, and Gerard Houllier was out of a job.

"With only 30 seconds remaining we were there but we got stabbed in the back and at the worst possible time," Houllier said of Ginola.

"The referee still had his whistle to his mouth when Ginola won that free-kick near the corner flag, but then he goes and sends in a huge 60-metre cross instead of hanging on to the ball."

Ligue 1 winner

Before he 'stabbed France in the back', Ginola was a real hero in his homeland. He joined Paris Saint-Germain in January 1992 and immediately became a hit with the fans.

He won the French Footballer of the Year award, and in his second full season he helped the Parisians to the Ligue 1 title. At the time, it was just the second in their history.

It was to be the only league title Ginola would win in his career, but it was the one that launched a brilliant career.

'El Magnifico!'

One of Ginola's greatest performances in a PSG shirt came against Barcelona in the 1994/95 Champions League.

Barcelona, finalists the previous season, were the opponents and Ginola was a constant thorn in their side during the second-leg tie.

Nevertheless, Barca led 1-0 on the night and 2-1 on aggregate going into the final 20 minutes.

Needing two goals to progress, PSG poured forward with Ginola the inspiration.

And despite not having a hand in either of the two goals which saw his side through, his performance helped earn him the nickname 'El Magnifico' from the Iberian Press.

That summer, Ginola made the decision to leave France, largely due to tensions at home after his role in their 1994 World Cup failure. A lover of Spanish soccer, all roads appeared to lead to La Liga.

However, it was the Premier League that beckoned.

The Entertainer

Ginola signed for Newcastle United in the summer of 1995 at a time Kevin Keegan was making the Magpies known across Europe for their expansive play.

It looked like a great fit from the start, and it certainly turned out that way too. The Newcastle team were so attack-minded and good to watch that the media named them 'The Entertainers,' and Ginola was arguably the most entertaining of them all.

He scored five goals in his first season as Newcastle finished second to Manchester United, and he had an even better season the following year.

At one point in 1996/97, Newcastle had a 12-point lead over Man Utd, but they blew it and finished second again.

When Kevin Keegan resigned the following year, Ginola's free-spirited style of play did not ingratiate him to new boss Kenny Dalglish and he sought a move.

'Stabbed in the back' by Newcastle

Having been accused of stabbing France in the back earlier in his career, Ginola himself laid that accusation at the door of Newcastle.

It turned out that after his first season on Tyneside, Barcelona and Sir Bobby Robson came calling.

"I was back in the south of France on holiday, sad because we lost the title, but not expecting anything else," he told The Athletic.

"When the phone rang and it was Sir Bobby, saying he wanted me, that they were going to make an offer.

"They started at £6million and went up to £12million, until Keegan called me and said it didn't matter how much they bid, Newcastle wouldn't let me go.

David Ginola dejected at Newcastle

"I said to him, 'You have to. This is my last chance to play for Barcelona - a club which will be winning trophies every year.'

"It was no disrespect to Newcastle, but a career is so short. When it didn't happen again, I had to go back.

"And then when Keegan left us that January, he left me, too. I felt stabbed in the back."

London calling

Ginola and Dalglish could just not work together at Newcastle, and that saw Ginola move on to Tottenham for £2.5million in July 1997.

Newcastle fans mourned their huge loss and Ginola very quickly proved Dalglish wrong by making a real impact at White Hart Lane.

Ginola won both the PFA Players' Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year awards in 1999 - a genuine rarity for anyone not playing at a top-four club.

Manchester United won three trophies that season, and when Sir Alex Ferguson met with Ginola around the time, the Scotsman said to him: "We won the treble, but you ended up as Players' Player of the year that same season.

"But I have to mention something to you: most of my players voted for you, David."

That season also saw one of Ginola's most iconic goals, with him slaloming through the Barnsley defence in an FA Cup tie before finishing smartly.

Ginola also won his only trophy in England while at Tottenham - a League Cup in 1999.

He is so fondly remembered at the club that he was inducted into the Tottenham Hotspur Hall of Fame in 2008.

Controversies at Aston Villa

Ginola never really wanted to leave Tottenham, but he was moved on to Aston Villa in 2000 for a fee of £3million.

It never quite worked out for him in the Midlands, though. He was nearly 33 and it was always going to be his last big move.

Villa boss John Gregory publicly accused Ginola of being overweight, so he famously responded by removing his shirt while celebrating a goal to reveal a toned physique.

He also got hiimself in trouble for a stamp that got him a hefty fine from the FA as well as a suspension.

Despite a brief spell at Everton in 2002, Villa was essentially his swansong as a player.

International exile and continued Houllier feud

In truth, Ginola never really recovered - internationally - from what happened in the World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria in 1993.

Houllier publicly blamed him and the French press had latched onto it, branding the winger 'the assassin of French soccer'.

David Ginola in action for France in 1993

Ginola did continue to receive call-ups by Houllier's successor, Aime Jacquet, but he rarely started games. Either Jacquet didn't trust him, or he didn't want to incur the wrath of the still-angry French Press.

He finished his career having made just 17 appearances for France, a total that almost defies belief for a player of his quality.

The feud with Houllier was far from over, though, and it eventually reached the courts with Ginola alleging defamation for comments the former Liverpool boss had made about him in a 2011 book. However, the claim was dismissed.

Houllier continued to push Ginola publicly, telling RMC: "We have all dragged the ball, we have all suffered, it's not just him. His missed pass against Bulgaria, it is a fact of the game, but when you are offset from the spirit of the team, you play badly.

"Before this game, he said to the press he had to play in place of Eric Cantona and Jean-Pierre Papin.

"Even during his last game with the national team [in 1995], he had said in the dressing room that as a Newcastle player he was to play as a starter and not a substitute."

Ginola, though, refused to allow Houllier to say whatever he wanted unchallenged, even going so far as to call RMC to push back.

Gerard Houllier France manager 1993

"These are lies. I never said I had to play instead of Cantona and Papin.

"What I said at the time [in '95] is that in England, I had never been booed, while in France, the country that I love, I had been whistled because of these people.

"I will not allow a man like him to violate everything that I did. He [Houllier] showed weaknesses during these years. It's nice to say that Ginola is a criminal, but in football you win with 11 and lose with 11, but in that game I lost alone.

"We must stop with this, I have children now. It looks like it gives you pleasure. Are there not enough people who cried in 1994?"

Acting, endorsements, and other pursuits

Like compatriot and former team-mate Eric Cantona, Ginola held acting aspirations when his soccer career had finished.

He took lessons and in 2004 was cast in Rosbeef, an Anglo-French short film playing a butcher called Didier. He quickly got cast in another short, this time an English one called Mr Firecul.

Ginola then got a feature film break, being cast alongside Michael Madsen and Billy Zane in World War II heist movie Operation Matchbox.

He also has a string of TV appearances to his name, often cameos playing himself, and announced the results for the first Euro Millions lottery.

It was in the 1990s when he was really prominent, though. Ginola was part of the David Beckham-led boom when soccer players became cultural icons.

That saw him become the face of many products, including Braun, Carte Noire, Ladbrokes, Renault and, most famously, L'Oreal. He was also the cover player for the FIFA 97 video game.

He was spared the amorous attentions of female pop stars, though, having already married French fashion model Coraline in 1991. When they split after 25 years of marriage, Ginola moved on to Maeva Denat, another French fashion model who is 22 years his junior.

In 2015, Ginola also tried to run as a candidate for FIFA president, but withdrew his candidacy early on due to a lack of support.

Major heart scare

Tragedy nearly struck in May 2016 when Ginola suffered a cardiac arrest while taking part in a charity match in France.

He fell into a coma and was given CPR by former Montpellier defender Frederic Mendy before medics used a defibrillator to restore heart rhythm.

Having been flown by helicopter to a medical facility, Ginola immediately underwent surgery. His doctor told him he was "lucky to be alive", and credited Mendy with saving his life.

READ MORE: David Ginola joins I’m a Celebrity cast for 2021, but how have former players fared in the past?

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