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Beckham angry over being dumped

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September 18, 2006 18:20 IST

Former captain David Beckham said on Monday he was left angry and disappointed at being ruled out of the England squad by new coach Steve McClaren.

McClaren, who replaced Sven-Goran Eriksson after the World Cup, rang the 31-year-old Real Madrid midfielder before the friendly against Greece in August, McClaren's first game in charge.

"Steve McClaren called me out of the blue," Beckham told BBC Radio. "He had called me before asking about my ankle -- I thought everything was good.

"He said 'I want to move forward but there will be casualties along the way and you're one of them.'

"I was angry and disappointed when I got off the phone."

Beckham, who has played 94 times for England, added: "It surprised me, I was gutted. Playing for England meant everything to me. But I did not plead with him as he has made his decision."

Beckham, who came off the bench to score an outstanding individual goal in Real Madrid's 2-0 win over Real Sociedad on Sunday, says he has not given up hope of playing for England again.

The midfielder, who relinquished the captaincy after their World Cup exit to Portugal, said: "I still hope I will play for England again -- that's why I've not retired from international football because I want to play again.

"If I was a betting man then I wouldn't bet on me playing again, but I really want to. I'm doing it for myself more than anything."


Despite the setbacks, Beckham made it clear there are no sour grapes towards McClaren and he wished Chelsea skipper John Terry well in his new role as England captain.

"The lads have adapted really well and I have so much respect for John Terry," he said. "He's a great lad and I'm sure Steve will be a good coach for England. I think the future is good for England."

Beckham told Monday's Daily Mirror how difficult it had been to surrender the captaincy, announced in an emotional conference the day after their quarter-final defeat by Portugal.

"I had decided six months earlier to quit -- but it got to me so much. I was physically sick afterwards," he said.

"I didn't want to walk away from my country -- but I just felt it was the right time for someone else to take over."

Needing just six more appearances to become only the fifth man in history to play 100 times for England, Beckham was criticised during and after the World Cup, despite his free-kicks securing victories over Paraguay and Ecuador.

"I don't feel guilty at all about my own performances in Germany, despite what a lot of people have said and written," he told the paper.

"There is always going to be a scapegoat when England fall at a major tournament, and unfortunately a couple of times that scapegoat has been me.

Peter Shilton (125 caps), Bobby Moore (108), Bobby Charlton (106) and Billy Wright (105) are England's only international centurions.

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