Where Are They Now? David Ginola

Chris Henderson, 27 January 2019

David Désiré Marc Ginola made 503 appearances in France and England in a career spanning over 16 years.

Since retiring in 2002, he has been an actor, football pundit, model, sommelier, and sadly suffered a cardiac arrest in a charity football match, where he was declared ‘clinically dead’ for eight minutes.

Then

Ginola was born in Gassin on 25 January 1967. The Frenchman played ten full seasons in his homeland for Toulon, RC Paris Brest, and finally Paris Saint-Germain.

The French media labelled Ginola as the ‘assassin of French football’

He left France shortly after being widely scapegoated for their failure to qualify for the World Cup in 1994. With minutes remaining of a crucial qualifier, with the score at 1-1 and France only needing a draw, Ginola overhit a cross which resulted in a lightning Bulgaria counterattack and a 2-1 loss.

French boss Gerard Houiller described Ginola’s actions as a ‘crime against the team’, and the French media labelled him as the ‘assassin of French football.’

Ginola left his home nation as a villain but arrived to a hero’s welcome in a surprise £2.5 million move to Newcastle. He terrorised the league’s best right-backs, and a move to Tottenham Hotspur saw him win the 1999 PFA Players’ Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year.

During that season, Dutch legend Johan Cruyff described Ginola as the best footballer in the world. The Frenchman spent a short time at Aston Villa and Everton, and retired in 2002.

Now

Since retiring, Ginola has continued his passion for football in a series of punditry roles for the BBC, CNN, BT, Sky and also hosts ‘Match of Ze Day’ (seriously) on Canal+.

“When I was a small kid my dad used to put two or three drops of red wine in a glass of water”

He owns a vineyard in Provence and received a silver medal at the International Wine Challenge in 2008. ‘From the age of six or seven all I wanted to do was play football, but I grew up surrounded by vines. My parents loved wine and I knew I’d end up in the wine business one day,’ Ginola said. “When I was a small kid my dad used to put two or three drops of red wine in a glass of water.”

His specialty is a Provençal rosé. Of course it is. He admitted that the wine industry is even more competitive than in football, and something which mirrors his sporting career, the wine has greater success in England than in France.

After retirement, Ginola also made a foray into acting – playing ‘Didier the Butcher’ in Rosbeef – ‘a tale of love, lust and a kilo of sausages.’ He featured as the devil in Mr Firecul and then a renegade sniper in feature film Operation Matchbox. He has appeared as himself in a range of TV roles, including, most memorably (sort of), in ITV’s At Home With The Braithwaites.

The Frenchman’s modelling career has included endorsements for Braun, Carte Noire, Kingston Technologies, Ladbrokes, L’Oréal and Renault. In 2015, he even announced his plan to run for FIFA presidency, but later withdraw his appeal after failing to get the necessary support from at least five national football associations.

In May 2016, Ginola collapsed during a charity football match due to a cardiac arrest and subsequently fell into a coma. A team of medics used a defibrillator on this pitch, and the winger underwent a six-hour quadruple bypass. Professor Dreyfus said Ginola was “very lucky to be alive.” After that scare, Ginola spends every possible hour with his girlfriend and two year old daughter.

“I didn’t think about shooting until the ball hit the net”

He was most recently the special guest on Sky’s brilliant Monday Night Football, alongside Jamie Carragher. He has a different style to the average pundit but he’s in his most comfortable habitat when talking about football.

When asked about his thought process in front of goal, he said, “I didn’t think about shooting until the ball hit the net. And then I thought about it after in the changing room. Was it a dream? Was it something from the night?”

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Chris is the founder of The Football Brief. He runs our regular series and can usually be found waxing lyrical about Blackburn Rovers and R9.

By |2019-01-28T10:11:49+00:00January 27th, 2019|

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