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Sunday, 9 June, 2002, 03:32 GMT 04:32 UK England
England England
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David Beckham

Career
DOB:
 02.05.75
Caps:
 57
Goals:
 8

World Cup 2002
Appearances:
 5
Goals:
 1
Bookings:
 0
Sendings off:
 0
David Beckham
Club:Manchester United
Position:Midfielder

The broken bone in David Beckham's foot jeopardised the midfielder's participation at the 2002 World Cup.

But the injury healed in time for the England captain to take his place in his team's starting line up for their opening game of the World Cup against Sweden .

Beckham was a pivotal figure in England's qualification campaign.

In the crucial World Cup qualifier with Greece he was by far the most influential England man on the pitch.

He did not stop running for the entire 90 minutes before dragging his side through to the finals with that remarkable 25-yard curling free-kick two minutes into injury time.

Beckham has matured in both his play and temperament since his last World Cup appearance ended in disgrace.

He was left to shoulder the blame for England's elimination four years ago when his petulant kick at Argentina's Diego Simeone left his side down to 10 men early in the second half.

But since caretaker manager Peter Taylor first awarded him the captain's armband against Italy in November 2000 he has refused to get drawn into trouble.

And Beckham avenged his team's defeat against Argentina in 1998 by scoring the only goal of the game as England defeated their South American opponents 1-0 in a group match in Sapporo, Japan.

England may not have the best team in the world, but they know that in their captain they have one of the most talented players and they need him at the World Cup.



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