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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep, 16, 2006

Beckham's 'burning desire' to prove McClaren wrong

David Beckham has revealed his 'total shock' at being axed from the England team and his 'burning desire' to prove head coach Steve McClaren wrong.

The former England captain has said how McClaren bluntly told him 'you are one of the casualties' following the poor showing at this summer's World Cup in Germany.

The quarter-final exit against Portugal on penalties marked the end of Sven-Goran Eriksson's rein as boss, and also apparently signalled the end of Beckham's international career as the Swede's successor took over and immediately stamped his authority on the squad by dropping its most high-profile player.

But Beckham, 31, remains adamant he can force his way back into the squad, even if he doubts McClaren's public declaration that 'the door is still open'.

'I know people said I should have seen it coming,' said Beckham. 'But I never saw it coming. It was a total shock. I would be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed. It's a terrible feeling not playing for England after 10 years of being involved.

'He has made a decision. But it's not bitterness that I feel. It's more disappointment and hurt. It's hard to take when the reasoning behind it was to move on but I still believe I have got two or three more good years left in me.

'I thought I could move on with the team and not get left behind but now I have got a burning desire to prove him wrong.'

Beckham revealed how McClaren had told him he was being dropped in a phone call a few days before the new England boss' first game, a friendly against Greece last month.

'He said with moving on there come casualties and `you are one of the casualties'. That was it really.

'I heard later there were some reports that I had begged and pleaded with him not to do it. Well, obviously I was upset but nothing like that happened.

'I was upset but I am a man and I would never crawl to someone to pick me for the team.'

Beckham, capped 94 times by England, claims he will always 'be available' to play for his country again.

'I didn't announce my international retirement because I want to play for England again,' he said.

'I still want to reach that milestone of playing for England 100 times and help them win the European Championship. It's a target I set myself a long time ago and I won't give up now.'

However the Real Madrid star doubts McClaren's comments that 'the door is still open' to him.

'I want to fight my way back in. Steve McClaren says the door is still open. I'm not so sure.

'I'd love to say I'll play for England again in the future. I'd love to say I'll reach 100 caps and go beyond that, but I wouldn't tell anyone to bet on it.'

Beckham also admits that playing for Madrid, he is 'out of the way' and hard to impress the England boss.

'Unless someone comes over and watches you play, they can't see what you are doing week in and week out.

'But if I play for Real this season the way I played last season, then we'll see.'

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