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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 June 2006, 22:09 GMT 23:09 UK
Beckham hits back at German paper
By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer in Baden-Baden

David Beckham
Beckham says media criticism of his family is unacceptable
England captain David Beckham has hit back at a series of personal attacks on his family in the German media.

Mass circulation tabloid Bild mocked Beckham's mother Sandra, son Romeo and the star's sister Joanne.

He said: "When it comes to my family that is one thing I won't accept and never will.

"I find it sad that one person drops to the level of criticising my family, but it is one sad person thinking what they can do to put me off my next game."

He added: "I've had enough things said about me outside of my football career to not worry about something like this.

"I do find it sad but I've always had a great relationship with the German public. It's never been a problem."

I can put up with it but when it gets to my family, it is hard for them

David Beckham

Beckham admits he has had to get used to living with the pressure of life in the public eye.

And he insists nothing will divert England from their mission of winning the World Cup.

He said: "We will brush aside any distractions. We do realise as a team and players this is a good chance for us if we all perform to the level we are capable of.

"There is always distractions that happen which try to put players and teams off and you have to blank that out.

"That is why we are happy in the hotel where it is; it is in the middle of nowhere, it is relaxing for the players and we are not hearing anything that has been going on.

"Players let stuff go in one ear and out of the other.

"My family are used to it because for the last ten years when something has happened to me on a football pitch, it is my family that have been affected - going back to the World Cup in 1998."

Beckham said: "My parents had vans and photographers outside of their house for three weeks after that competition.

"I can put up with it but when it gets to my family, it is hard for them."

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