David Ginola: The former Aston Villa & French international footballer turned I’m A Celeb star

Ginola spent two years at Villa Park between 2000 & 2002 and has now swapped the pitch for the gloomy, cold castle in Wales

Former Aston Villa and French international footballer David Ginola is one of the biggest names taking part in this year’s I’m A Celebrity in Wales.

He’s swapped the glitz and glam of a professional athlete’s life for the four walls of a cold and dark castle for the upcoming weeks and his appearance in the first couple of nights has already left some of the other camp-mates starstruck.

Actor Danny Miller has already been caught calling him a ‘legend’ an unhealthy amount of times and he’s even had Dame Arlene Phillips swooning over him on numerous occasions.

Oh and there’s his snoring - you can’t forget his snoring.

But away from all of that, for those unfamiliar with Ginola - who actually is he?

David Ginola of Villa in action during the Newcastle United v Aston Villa AXA FA Cup third round match at St James's Park, Newcastle

Who is David Ginola?

David Ginola is a French former professional footballer best known for his time in England with Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa. Away from the field, he has also worked as an actor, model & football pundit.

How old is David Ginola?

Ginola was born on 25 January 1967, making him 54-years-old.

Football Career

Before making a move to the Premier League in 1995 with Newcastle United, Ginola spent the earlier years of his career in his native country of France.

He started his career with Toulon before moving on to RC Paris, Brest & Paris Saint-Germain.

After a successful two year spell with the Magpies in England, Tottenham Hotspur picked up his signature for £2.5m and he remained their until the Millennium.

He joined Aston Villa in 2000 before finishing his career with a brief spell at Everton in 2002.

Ginola never spent more than three years at a single club.

David Ginola of Aston Villa is shown a red card after a tackled on Dennis Wise of Leicester during the FA Barclaycard Premiership match between Aston Villa and Leicester City at Villa Park

Aston Villa

The Frenchman’s two year spell with the Villans was never short of controversy.

Ginola publicly expressed his annoyance that he had been sold to Villa by Spurs, calling the news that they had accepted an offer a “bombshell.”

And from the minute he signed at the age of 33, the then Villa manager John Gregory challenged Ginola to prove that he could still hack it at the top level rather than moving abroad.

For the most part he did but it didn’t come without turbulent times. Gregory accused the Frenchman of being overweight in December 2000 so how did the latter respond? He scored a worldie against Manchester City and then took his top off in celebration. And if that’s overweight, I for one have a serious problem.

Two years later and he was back in the limelight for different reasons for Villa.

During a 2-0 defeat to Leicester City at Villa Park, Ginola stamped on Dennis Wise which resulted in him receiving a red card. He then got into a confrontation with the fourth official following his dismissal, one that later resulted in him being fined £22,000 and being banned for two games for misconduct.

Ginola’s Villa career finished with him making 41 appearances across two years, scoring five goals, chipping in with four assists and providing some highly memorable moments.

Cardiac arrest

In May 2016, Ginola collapsed due to cardiac arrest and fell into a coma during a charity football match in France.

He was just 49-years-old at the time and the Frenchman himself revealed during a chat with his camp-mates on I’m A Celebrity that he ‘passed away for 12 minutes’.

Fellow footballer Frederic Mendy performed CPR on Ginola before medics arrived with a defibrillator - shocking him five times to restore normal heart rhythm.

Professor Gillles Dreyfus, who worked on Ginola at the Cardiothoracic Center of Monaco said that he had suffered “very complicated coronary lesions” which required a quadruple heart bypass operation to be performed.

Dreyfus later stated, again which Ginola himself quoted in the castle, that he was “lucky to be alive.”

I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here Odds

Ginola has certainly made a big impression since entering the camp and has now moved out to outright favourite to win the show according to the bookies.

He dropped from 6/1 on the eve of the show to 9/4 favourite as of Monday night’s episode with William Hill.

Full list of odds can be found below:

  • David Ginola - 9/4
  • Frankie Bridge - 4/1
  • Danny Miller - 5/1
  • Simon Gregson - 7/1
  • Snoochie Shy - 15/2
  • Naughty Boy - 11/1
  • Louise Minchin - 12/1
  • Richard Madeley - 16/1
  • Adam Woodyatt - 18/1
  • Matty Lee - 20/1
  • Kadeena Cox - 25/1
  • Arlene Phillips - 66/1

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