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Beckham says England have momentum ahead of World Cup vote

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England 2018 excites David Beckham
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • David Beckham gives upbeat assessment of England's 2018 World Cup chances
  • Beckham tells CNN that momentum is behind their bid ahead of Thursday's vote
  • Beckham helped London win the 2012 Summer Olympics

(CNN) -- Football icon David Beckham has told CNN that he believes the momentum is behind England as they battle to win the right to stage the 2018 World Cup when the decision is made in Zurich on Thursday.

Beckham, who has played in three World Cups, joined by forces with British prime minister David Cameron and Prince Willliam in a last-minute lobbying offensive of FIFA executive members.

England's bid was believed to have been adversely affected by allegations of corruption made against FIFA officials by British media organizations, but the former Manchester United star believes that has been neutralized.

"I think when we arrived yesterday (Tuesday) obviously people were talking about the negative side about what had been said and how the members would be; but I think that's totally turned now," he told CNN.

Obviously people were talking about the negative side but I think that's totally turned now
--David Beckham
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"Us being here, us sitting down with the delegates, us explaining why we want this World Cup in our country, I think has made us and our bid gain momentum that we need."

Blog: Which countries will win the right to host World Cups ?

Beckham was a driving force behind London's successful bid for the 2012 Olympics and hopes to work his magic again in his chosen sport.

"I think everybody knows how passionate I am about our country and about playing for my country, but to be able to bring the World Cup to England, it gives me goosebumps just thinking about it."

Beckham, who is now playing for Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS, believes England deserve to host their first World Cup since 1966 on the strength of their technical bid.

"Facilities speak for themselves -- you know the training grounds that we have, the medical facilities that we have the hotels around England that we have.

"But to have the stadiums that we have around our country they don't get much better than that throughout the world," he added.

Whether Beckham can achieve his dream of taking his three sons to watch World Cup matches in England in 2018 will rest on the decision of 22 members of the FIFA executive committee.

They must decide between early frontrunners England, Russia, Spain and Portugal and Belgium and the Netherlands.

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