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


David Beckham joined England's players as they touched down in Johannesburg ahead of the start of the World Cup on June 11
 Photo: © PA


Before flying out of Heathrow on Wednesday, the team posed for photos in their smart official World Cup suits
 Photo: © Rex


Actor Brad Pitt has joined the committee to bring the 2018 or 2022 World Cups to the US, putting him in competition with Becks
 Photo: © Rex

03 JUNE 2010

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.