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Share StumbleUpon Submit Share Seeking to maximise brand coverage during the crucial World Cup trading period, bookmakers and betting stakeholders have turned to former football stars to turn-up the football dialogue…Bonus Code Bets has ramped up its partnership with John Barnes to provide engaging videos around England’s progress at this summer’s World Cup in Russia.One of Better Collective’s portfolio of affiliate sites, Bonus Code Bets has worked with Barnes across the last two football seasons. The former Liverpool legend is well placed to comment, having made 79 appearances for the Three Lions between 1983 and 1995.However, Barnes, who praised the “resilience” shown by England in Monday’s 2-1 victory over Tunisia, is not the only recognised former England international working as an ambassador for a betting brand during the tournament.Meanwhile, Lee Dixon, a lead World Cup pundit for both ITV Sports and NBC Soccer, is providing Ladbrokes with exclusive content and opinion, which the operator has described as “the most insightful and engaging content for all types of audiences”.Fittingly, the former Arsenal right-back spoke of England’s reliance on Harry Kane as a goalscorer, just a few days before the Spurs man spared his side’s blushes in Volgograd.Dixon also urged Southgate to pick Marcus Rashford alongside Kane, particularly given the inconsistency shown by Raheem Sterling at international level.Speaking to the Daily Mail this week, former England manager Terry Venables asked whether Gareth Southgate would ‘dare’ drop the Manchester City man, and cited a similar situation during Euro 96 when he was pressured to leave out an out-of-form Alan Shearer.Shearer himself has been the subject of Russia build up videos for Coral, in which the former Newcastle number 9 spoke about the World Cup as the “pinnacle” of a player’s career, and shared his hopes that this year’s England squad play with a smile on their faces.UK betting brands have not limited their approaches to stars of England’s past. Unibet has initiated a 15-part #BetAndBreakfast series featuring Didier Drogba and Djibril Cisse, who coach two celebrity teams in a tournament-long survival of the smartest.