thumbnail Hello,

The former Dutch international is confident Holland and Belgium can win the race to host the showpiece...

Former South Korea coach Guus Hiddink is currently in Seoul for a couple of days to gather support for Holland and Belgium's 2018 World Cup bid, following Ruud Gullit's recent trip to South Africa for a similar project.

Ex-Dutch international Pierre van Hooijdonk is part of the team put together to promote the Holland/Belgium bid as well, and the 40-year-old, having accompanied Gullit to South Africa, believes the bid has a good chamce of succeeding.

"Ruud is all about warmth and openness. He feels very comfortable talking with influential people and that's exactly what the Holland/Belgium bid needs," said Van Hooijdonk to

"I never even hesitated when they asked me to take on the role as an ambassador of the 2018 World Cup bid. It's all about hosting the World Cup and I'm really enjoying being a part of this project. I played football for years and it's a nice thing if you can do something to support a World Cup bid.

Van Hooijdonk is well aware of the stiff competition Holland and Belgium face in the race to host the 2018 World Cup, but the former Feyenoord attacker pointed out that Holland and Belgium have something the other candidates don't have.

"We have the advantage of a perfect location. We can be reached quite easily from all over the world, and have a good infrastructure. It won't be easy for a lot of fans to visit games in South Africa this summer, while we don't have that kind of problem here.

"We have already shown that we're capable of organising a big tournament having hosted Euro 2000. I do realise that a World Cup is even bigger and that it has more impact. World Cups attract more interest from journalists all over the world, while it's less hectic at a European Championships. The organisation won't be much different though. You just have to deal with more people. I'm confident Holland and Belgium are capable of doing so."

Russia, Spain/Portugal, Australia, Japan, USA and England are all eager to host the 2018 World Cup as well, with England reportedly sitting in pole position to host the tournament. Van Hooijdonk isn't too impressed with the English bid though.

"They have all the right facilities and could host a big tournament without any problems. However, rumour has it that they've plenty of problems within the organisation and that can't be good.

"I don't really understand why Spain and Portugal want to host the 2018 World Cup together. Spain organised the tournament in 1982 on its own without any problems. I don't really see the link between those two countries.

"Russia is also a good candidate, but you have to cover a lot of distance between the different cities there. All the remaining candidates have some things going against them, except Holland/Belgium. That's why I think we're a good candidate and have a very good chance to host the 2018 World Cup." 

Become a fan of International on Facebook! Just click onto to join the beautiful game's leading fan community...