David Ginola’s wild life – footballing genius, off-pitch bust-ups and model wife

David Ginola will certainly bring entertainment if his stint on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! is anything like his incredible career.

The former professional footballer, most known for spending his playing days with Newcastle and Tottenham, will reunite with famous Geordie pair Ant and Dec, after they used to watch him during his St James’ Park playing days.

The show is famous for taking place in Australia but due to travel guidelines surrounding Covid-19, it will be filmed at Gwrych Castle, near Abergele, in Wales.

Ginola will be following in the footsteps of other previous footballers and managers that have been on the show, such as Ian Wright, Harry Redknapp, Jimmy Bullard and John Fashanu.

Here Mirror Football takes a look at Ginola’s thrilling Premier League career – including various bust-ups – as well as his colourful off-field endeavours.

What former footballers would you like to see appear on I’m a Celebrity in the future?Have your say in the comments section.

Ginola is part of the I’m a Celebrity line up for this year.


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Career recap

Ginola was one of the best players in the world on his day during his career, especially during spells at Newcastle and Tottenham, and the skilful winger often bamboozled defenders and left supporters star struck with his performances.

Born in Gassin, France, he made his debut for Toulon in 1985 and spent three years there, before spells at RC Paris and Brest in Ligue 1.

Paris-Saint Germain signed him in January 1992 and this is where he began to build up his reputation, winning a number of trophies as well as the French Player of the Year in 1993 – all while amassing 158 appearances and scoring 44 goals.

Ginola during his Newcastle playing days.



His displays in Paris prompted Newcastle to sign him in 1995 for £2.5million as part of Kevin Keegan’s attempt to make them a force in the Premier League, and in his first season he was an integral part of the side that finished as runners-up to Manchester United.

In his second season, they finished as runners-up again and by the time he left, Ginola had finished with seven goals in 75 appearances – including one in the famous 5-0 rout of United.

He signed for Spurs for the same £2.5m fee he joined Newcastle for and went on to make 124 appearances for the club over three seasons, scoring 22 goals.

In his second season at the club, he won the PFA Player of the Year award after a campaign full of spectacular performances and won the 1999 League Cup after a 1-0 win against Leicester City at Wembley – his only domestic trophy with Spurs.

He then moved to Spurs for £2.5 million in 1997 and won the PFA Player of the Year award in 1999.


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He also scored one of his most famous goals against Barnsley in the FA Cup, taking the ball past numerous players before slotting it into the back of the net to win the game 1-0. That same year, Johan Cruyff called him one of the best players in the world.

A £3m move to Aston Villa followed in 2000, where he scored seven goals in 41 appearances during one-and-a-half seasons at the club, whilst also winning the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 2001.

One such incident during his Villa Park stint was a row he had with manager, John Gregory, who was critical of Ginola after believing his player had put on weight.

Ginola responded in the 2-2 draw with Manchester City in December 2000 – first, he used his hands to gesture a big belly after assisting Dion Dublin, before ripped his shirt off to show his toned physique after scoring the equaliser.

Gregory said after the match: “His goal wasn’t an answer to me, he just wanted to show off his nice slim figure afterwards. He looked alright.

“He asked me ‘Who is this Mr Blobby?’ I don’t think he knew what I was on about.”

The Frenchman eventually finished his career in 2002 at Everton, retiring at the age of 35.

Ginola didn’t have quite as glamorous an international career with France, making just 17 appearances and scoring three goals between 1990-95, which was most likely down to a huge spat he had with former boss Gerard Houllier.

Heart scare

In May 2016, Ginola collapsed and suffered a cardiac arrest while playing in a charity football match in France, subsequently falling into a coma.

He received CPR on the pitch from fellow footballer Frederic Mendy, before paramedics intervened and five shocks from a defibrillator restored his heart rate back to normal, and it was revealed that without the CPR from Mendy, Ginola would’ve died.

A six-hour operation followed and Ginola made a quick recovery and has had no troubles since and believes life has given him “a second chance”.

Speaking of his experience on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football in November 2018, Ginola said: “Completely fine? No. After that, the main thing that stays in your mind, psychologically, is why you are still there.

“Surgeon saying ‘well, nine people out of ten will come out of the hospital dead’, so why are you still there. Why does life give you a second chance? All of those questions are massive every day.

“You find yourself in a position where you try to understand why you are still there. “

Ginola has often appeared as a pundit since retirement.

What he’s been up to

Since retiring from football in 2022, Ginola hasn’t wasted any time in exploring new career paths to make a living from.

The Frenchman is still heavily involved in the game, offering punditry and analysis for primarily BBC and BT Sport, but has also appeared on CNN, Sky Sports, Talksport and Canal Plus, while he has also attempted to run for FIFA presidency in January 2015.

However, Ginola had to withdraw that same month after failing to get backing from at least five national football associations.

The 54-year-old fulfilled an ambition of his by going into acting soon after retiring and has appeared in a number of short French films, one of which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and won an award – playing ‘Didier the Butcher’ in Rosbeef – as well as a number of cameos in British TV shows on BBC, ITV and Channel 4.

Elsewhere, a wine that he produced from his own vineyard won him a silver medal at the International Wine Challenge in 2008.

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In England, he appeared in commercials for a.o. Braun shavers, Carte Noire coffee, Kingston Technologies memory sticks, Ladbrokes sports betting, Renault cars and most famously, L’Oréal hair products – a role which he reportedly beat famous Friends actress Jennifer Aniston to.

In his personal life, he has had one previous marriage – to French model Coraline in 1991 – which lasted 25 years and who he had two children with, before the pair split and Ginola entered a relationship with another model, Maeva Denat, whom he also has a child with.

Ginola has certainly been involved in his fair share of activities since his retirement and he’ll be hoping to add a third trophy to the two he already won on these shores during his playing days, as he aims to be crowned King of the I’m a Celeb castle.

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