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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 June 2007, 08:46 GMT 09:46 UK
England return delights Beckham
By Andrew McKenzie
BBC Sport at Wembley Stadium

England midfielder David Beckham
Beckham was given a great reception by the fans at Wembley
England midfielder David Beckham thanked the fans for helping to make his return from the international wilderness such a special one.

Beckham was given a standing ovation after a fine display in which he set up John Terry for their goal in the 1-1 friendly draw with Brazil at Wembley.

"It is always nice to have the support of the fans," said the former skipper.

"I'm not sure if I knew I'd ever get this moment again but I'm happy to be part of a historic night."

The Real Madrid star pulled on England shirt for the first time in 11 months and responded with a performance full of the passion that once made him his country's talisman.

During the final years of Sven-Goran Eriksson's reign as coach Beckham faced accusations that he was picked for the side irrespective of form.

They are a great bunch of lads, they are so free-spirited and I'm sure we'll be all right

David Beckham

When Steve McClaren succeeded Eriksson as coach one of his first decisions was to leave Beckham out of the squad.

But after missing the first nine matches under McClaren the former Manchester United star was recalled for his 95th cap as England played their first senior game at the new Wembley.

Beckham dismissed suggestions that he took his place in the England squad for granted, adding: "I always felt I had to play for my place, not just this week.

"I always believed in whichever team I have been in, wherever I have been I have had to fight for my place and I've always done that for England.

"I felt relaxed all week and it is nice to be back with the team."

His long-term international future is in some doubt with his impending move to the LA Galaxy.

But cap number 96 is sure to follow when England face Estonia in Tallinn on Wednesday in a crucial Euro 2008 qualifier.

And the 32-year-old is more interested in helping England to a much-needed victory than discussions about whether McClaren was right to leave him out of previous squads.

"I'm not looking at the past," he said. "The most important thing is the three points.

"They are a great bunch of lads, they are so free-spirited and I'm sure we'll be all right."

  • Beckham (8.14) edged out Steven Gerrard (7.91) in the voting for England's best performer in Player Rater:

    McClaren salutes Beckham display
    01 Jun 07 |  Internationals
    England 1-1 Brazil
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    England-Brazil clockwatch
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    Rate the players
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    England v Brazil photos
    01 Jun 07 |  Football
    BBC pundits on England v Brazil
    01 Jun 07 |  Internationals
    Comment: Gerrard eclipses Beckham
    01 Jun 07 |  Football


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