Becks joins England squad as they fly to South Africa for World Cup

by England's footballers have arrived in South Africa to begin preparations for their 2010 World Cup bid.

Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and the rest of the 23-man squad touched down at Johannesburg's OR Tambo Airport on Thursday morning after an 11-hour flight from London.

And travelling alongside them was a special guest – David Beckham – who despite being ruled out from playing in the tournament by injury, will support the players as part of manager Fabio Capello's backroom team.

Looking smart in their official England suits, the boys headed off immediately to their training base at the luxurious Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus in Rustenburg.

Arriving at their hotel, they were greeted by local schoolchildren performing a group dance.

The players now have nine days of training ahead of them before their first match against the USA on June 12.

Meanwhile, the battle is on to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, with superstar Brad Pitt putting his name behind the USA's bid.

The Inglourious Basterds actor is joining the likes of California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, former president Bill Clinton and film director Spike Lee as part of the bid committee looking to bring the tournament to the US.

The role puts Brad in competition with Becks, who officially presented England's bid to host the tournament.

The other countries vying to hold the 2018 competition are Australia, Russia, Belgium and the Netherlands, and Spain and Portugal.

The same countries are also in the running to host the 2022 World Cup, along with Qatar, Japan, and South Korea.

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