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Last Updated: Friday, 23 November 2007, 07:03 GMT
Foreigners not to blame - Beckham
David Beckham
Beckham is still hopeful of continuing his England career
David Beckham believes the influx of foreign players into the Premier League is not to blame for England's failure to qualify for Euro 2008.

England lost the decisive qualifier 3-2 to Croatia at Wembley on Wednesday.

The result ended England's hopes of reaching Euro 2008 and signalled the end of coach Steve McClaren's reign.

"There's many excuses out there that people can come up with but I don't think you can blame it on foreign players," Beckham told BBC London.

"For me, the foreign players have brought something special to the Premiership and our country.

Hopefully I'll still be playing, and playing well enough, to be in the England squad in 2010

David Beckham

"If you look back at 1974 and 1978 when we didn't qualify for World Cups back then there was probably 90% of English players in the English league.

"Now there's probably a lot more foreign players but I don't think you can turn round and look at it like that."

England team-mate Steven Gerrard had already called for foreign player quotas before England lost to Croatia and former France and Chelsea defender Marcel Desailly agrees.

"The clubs should concentrate a little bit more on the top foreign players only," he said. "In each English club team, there should be only three or four top players from abroad.

"At the end of the day, it is the foreigners who have lifted the level of the Premier League - and that has given the league better exposure and increased sponsors and the media.

606: DEBATE

"But you have to be careful how you play the game, and it is true that the national team is not following the level of the league.

Beckham won his 99th cap as England lost on Wednesday but the 32-year-old says he has a future with the national team.

Speaking on the second anniversary of the David Beckham Academy in Greenwich, he said: "I'll still be available and hopefully I'll still be playing, and playing well enough, to be in the England squad in 2010 but who knows?

"Everything can change and I've seen that in the last 12 months. I said at the start of my career I'd always want to play for my country and I'd never retire from playing for my country.

"Obviously that could be taken out of my hands but I want to reach my 100 caps, I want to reach the milestone and to get 100 caps would be a dream come true for me."

And following McClaren's dismissal on Thursday, Beckham is waiting like the rest of the country to see what the Football Association does next.

"It's all down to speculation on who's going to be taking over," he said.

"The support was there for the manager last week and rightly so because players support managers and people that they believe in.

"Obviously Steve is not the England manager any more and everybody has to come to terms with that now.

"Now it's down to the FA to pick another England manager to take over the team."

Watch Inside Sport on BBC ONE at 2320 on Monday for a full interview with David Beckham.

INSIDE SPORT ON THE BBC

MONDAY 12 MAY
2330 BST, BBC ONE

SEE ALSO
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McClaren sacked as England coach
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England players hurting - Beckham
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England 2-3 Croatia
21 Nov 07 |  Internationals
Comment: FA must choose right boss
21 Nov 07 |  Internationals
Euro 2008 qualifying as it happened
17 Nov 07 |  Internationals


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