Beckham delivers World Cup bid book

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David Beckham has handed over England's 2018 World Cup bid book to FIFA with the message "football runs through our veins".

At a ceremony at FIFA headquarters in Zurich, the former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder spoke of the "passion and emotion" England could bring to the tournament as he led a five-strong delegation to Switzerland.

"I'm here on behalf of our fans," said Beckham. "Football runs through our veins. We are all brought up on it. It's truly an honour to be here. On behalf of our team, the delegation and our fans, we present you with our bid book."

In thanking the English delegation - second among the nine candidates to present their dossiers - FIFA president Sepp Blatter referred to England as the "motherland" of football and disclosed he had already spoken to Prime Minister David Cameron who had personally endorsed the bid.

"On Thursday I received a phone call from the new Prime Minister. Not only did he express his determination to be behind the bid but he is also behind the World Cup in 2010," said Blatter.

Beckham, England's most capped outfield player, said winning the vote to stage the 2018 World Cup would rank among his greatest achievements.

"It would certainly be up there. What the prospect of having the World Cup brings is huge. I know because I've experienced it."

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