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Last Updated: Monday, 18 September 2006, 08:50 GMT 09:50 UK
England omission angered Beckham
David Beckham won 94 England caps
Beckham believes he could still do a job for England
Former England captain David Beckham has revealed for the first time his "anger" at being dropped from the national team by Steve McClaren.

Beckham told BBC Radio 1: "Steve McClaren called me out of the blue. 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 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."

606 VIEW

McClaren left Beckham, 31, out of the England squad to face Greece in a friendly on 16 August - his first squad since taking over from Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Beckham had already stood down as England captain in the immediate aftermath of England's quarter-final exit in Germany. He has since revealed that he was physically sick after the media conference when he announced his resignation.

The Real Madrid star also told Radio 1's Chris Moyles that he had made his mind up to quit some time ago but kept the decision to himself.

I still hope I will play for England - I've not retired from international football because I want to play again

David Beckham

"It was six months before the World Cup that I decided to make the decision to step down," Beckham said.

"It was a hard, tough decision but six years as captain was the right time. I didn't think I would be playing the 2010 World Cup and I thought it was right for a new captain to take them forward.

"I spoke to Gary Neville, because he's my best friend and Victoria, and everyone agreed. I didn't want to announce it before the World Cup because I didn't want the captaincy issue to disrupt the set up."

Beckham has been capped 94 times by England since making his debut against Moldova in September 1996 at the age of 21.

He has now set his sights on winning a place back in the England side, though he concedes he only has an outside chance.

Beckham 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.

"The lads have adapted really well and I have so much respect for John Terry. 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."

That would appear to be backed up by Monday's newspapers, many of which claim Beckham has little chance of a comeback despite the broken leg suffered by fellow England midfielder Owen Hargreaves.

Newspaper reports have also claimed McClaren will instead try to tempt Manchester United's Paul Scholes out of international retirement.

Beckham scored a brilliant individual goal for Real Madrid on Sunday to cap their 2-0 win over Real Sociedad.

In the final minute of the match, Beckham sprinted through from his own half and coolly slotted the ball past Asier Riesgo.

He told Radio 1: "I'm never usually in that sort of situation where I'm running at a goalkeeper and I thought 'why not have a go and do it myself'. Apparently I started in my own penalty box!"

Beckham can still return - Hoddle
03 Sep 06 |  Internationals
McClaren offers hope to Beckham
13 Aug 06 |  Internationals
McClaren ends Beckham England era
11 Aug 06 |  Internationals


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