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Last Updated: Sunday, 15 December, 2002, 13:23 GMT
England soccer team prospects
David Beckham and Sven Goran Eriksson
David Beckham and Sven Goran Eriksson discussed the prospects for the England soccer team

BBC Breakfast with Frost interview with David Beckham and Sven Goran Eriksson 15 December 2002

Please note "BBC Breakfast with Frost" must be credited if any part of this transcript is used.

SVEN GORAN ERIKSSON: Yes I was, of course. It was a very important game, of course, because we had to win it to go through. And David took it and he took it very well. It's not easy to take a penalty in those circumstances, it's very, very difficult. You have, you have to be mentally very strong.

DAVID FROST: And at the moment you were about to take the penalty - or any vital penalty - do you hear the rival fans trying to put you off, or are you so concentrated that you don't even have time to be nervous? Or are you nervous?

DAVID BECKHAM: I don't usually get nervous in games and, you know, taking free kicks and penalties but that's the first time I've been that nervous in, in a game, where I have to, I'm in a situation where I'm, you know, I'm needed to score. So, and with the fans it was unfortunate and sometimes fortunate that it was up the Argentinean end where I was taking the penalty so if I had of missed then I'm sure I would have heard them a bit more. But thankfully I scored.

DAVID FROST: Yes, thankfully indeed, for everyone. Well everyone here, as you were saying, was nerve, was nervous too. What about the thing about things learnt from the World Cup and, for instance, from that second half against Brazil. What did we draw from that?

SVEN GORAN ERIKSSON: I think we learnt a lot from the World Cup. First of all we had a rather young squad and of course for them, many of those players never playing in a World Cup before, it's a huge experience which they will take on for the next time. I think we learnt, if I shall talk football, that we need some more time to prepare before the next Euro or World Cup. Three weeks is a very short time between finish, you finish the league, in England, and you start the World Cup. And I think if we had had one more week we could even have done better - I'm sure about that.

DAVID FROST: What about the relationship between the coach, or manager, and the captain? I mean obviously it's vital that the two of you work, the relationship works, what makes it work - I mean what makes it work between you and Sven, David?

DAVID BECKHAM: Communication, I think, is the, is the biggest thing (TRAFFIC) and you've got to have a good communication with, with the players and with the coach and with, you know, the whole staff, the whole staff team. So I think that's the, that's the good thing, we, you know, we talk a lot and we talk about certain things.

DAVID FROST: And have you changed as a captain as you do more of it, David? I mean, in addition to - they always said you were, you were leading by example but, but do you say more now, or shout more, or whatever?

DAVID BECKHAM: I say a little bit more than I used to say, you know, when I first became captain. You know, I actually said to someone that, you know, I'm not the, the ordinary captain that, you know, shouts and bawls and, and has a go at players. But I think I've come to terms with, if that, that needs to be done, then, then I'll do it, but I do it in a different way that what other captains do it.

DAVID FROST: Absolutely. So that's, that's absolutely vital. And you're thinking, it's said, that maybe the idea, like your recent get-together of the wives and the girl-friends, you might do that at the European finals?

SVEN GORAN ERIKSSON: Yes, maybe. I think it's, the World Cup, for example, we were away for almost six weeks and I don't think it's natural to be without your wife for six weeks and I think you can gain a lot if you keep all the players, all the members of the staff, happy - and if it depends on that, yes, we're going to do that.

DAVID FROST: how great are the pressures of fame for you? Everybody writes about the pressures of fame that you have and obviously when you read about things about threats to the family and all that sort of thing, do you sometimes think the price of fame is, is getting too high to pay?

DAVID BECKHAM: I think that something needs to be done about certain things but, you know, it's part and parcel of being a footballer and being a manager these days, you know, it's unfortunate that your private life comes into the game because at the end of the day all I've wanted to do is play football all my life. Yeah, you know, the other thing has come with it and the fame and, and everything else but part and parcel I'm a footballer and it's hard to come to terms with certain things, but, you know, you cope with it.

DAVID FROST: Do you find, Sven, that the, the way in Britain that there is this massive absorption with - well there's two sorts of - the massive absorption with people's private lives, whether yours, David's or whoever's, and allied with the fact that we do get hysterical, if we win then the team is going to win the World Cup, if we lose they're hopeless. You know, and they're the same team in the two matches. I mean do you find the pressure you're under in that way difficult?

SVEN GORAN ERIKSSON: I like the second kind of pressure, that if we win playing good football, as we did many times, people, people think that (CHIMES) we are the best in the world - and I think that's part of the sport. But your private life, I think it's a price you have to pay if you want to stay in this country and if you want to stay in football. I always said that I accept it and it goes on. The day I don't accept it any more, I will leave this country because that kind of the press is more difficult in this country than Italy, Portugal or Sweden where I'm coming from.

DAVID FROST: Sven, after you've won the European Championships for us and the World Cup, what next?


DAVID FROST: Would you like to do something else in football, or would you like to do something in a completely different field?

SVEN GORAN ERIKSSON: No, a big dream of course is to win a big tournament with England, and that's what we're working for and as David said we shouldn't talk so much about it, we should go out and try to do it. After that I would like to go back to club football again, one day, when this job is finished.

DAVID FROST: Good luck with Liechtenstein and Turkey -


DAVID FROST: They're the big threat, but you still, both of you, feel we can head the group, do you?

SVEN GORAN ERIKSSON: Yes, I think we can win the group of course. But the crucial game will be against Turkey at home in the beginning of April.

DAVID FROST: Right, we'll be counting the days. Do you think we can win the group David?

DAVID BECKHAM: Of course, you've got to believe you can win the group.

DAVID FROST: If necessary, you'll do like you did against Greece and score in the last minute.

DAVID BECKHAM: I hope I do. I hope I do.

DAVID FROST: Thank you both so much.





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