Ginola is a man in demand. Everywhere he goes he attracts attention, whether it be mesmerising defenders on the field or parading down the catwalks of Paris and Milan away from football. He's as likely to be seen making the headlines in "Hello!" and the tabloid front pages as in the sports columns. But is there more to Ginola, the "sex symbol"? In his autobiography, he provides an insight into his private life which few outsiders know about. He talks candidly about the women closest to him, his work for the Red Cross and anti-landmines campaign and the pressures of being a huge media star constantly under the spotlight. It wasn't always so good for Ginola. In his early years in France, he describes the traumas of his army national service and how, as a footballer, he went from being the most hated man in France to Footballer of the Year in the same season. He describes in detail his relationship with Eric Cantona and his bust-ups with the authorities, as well as a reviled Gerard Houllier, which led to his controversial exclusion from the 1998 French World Cup squad. On joining a Newcastle team under Kevin Keegan, Ginola was soon given the freedom of the "Toon". He writes openly about those exciting days at St James's Park, before the arrival of Kenny Dalglish led to his acrimonious departure to Spurs. Ginola is forthright about his mixed feelings on the arrival of George Graham at White Hart Lane and how their relationship developed, and his future at the club. More recently, his critics have branded Ginola a cheat for diving. Ginola responds honestly to these accusations, as he does to the controversy surrounding his comments to the Oxford Union about Alan Shearer and foreigners in the game.
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David Ginola was born in Gassin, France in 1967. He made his professional debut for OGC Nice in 1983 and went on to play for a number of French clubs, including Paris St Germain, before signing for Newcastle in July 1995. Two years later he joined Spurs in a GBP2 million deal. He has 16 international caps for his country. Neil Silver is a freelance football journalist who has worked for the Press Association and Total Features. He spent two years at the Sunday Mirror, during which time he won a number of commendations in the Sports Journalist of the Year Award.
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