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By ESPN Staff
Sep 18, 2006

Beckham rules out Premiership playing return

David Beckham admits he is unlikely to ever play club football in England again.

Beckham was in London on Monday to sign copies of his new soccer skills book and visit his football academy.

His current Real Madrid contract expires at the end of the season and he will be free to talk to English clubs in January if he has not signed an extension.

Beckham, 31, said: 'I don't think I will ever return to the Premiership to be honest.

'I played for Manchester United for many years and they are the team I support and love.

'I don't think I could put another shirt on and play against Man United at Old Trafford.

'I'm happy playing my football in Spain with Real Madrid. It's one of the biggest clubs in the world and I'm happy there.'

Beckham, who has 94 caps, will not give up hope of playing for England again despite being axed from the squad by new manager Steve McClaren.

He insists his chances of a recall will not be damaged if he continues to play in Spain.

Beckham said: 'I don't think it matters where you play as long as you are playing well and that will give me a chance.'

He is expected to open talks on a new contract before the end of the month - but first he has to convince new Real boss Fabio Capello that he deserves one.

Beckham said: 'I will sit down and discuss my contract when Real Madrid are ready and when I'm ready and we will decide what's going to happen.

'I'd like to win something before I leave Madrid, that would make four years of hard work and heartache worth it.'

Beckham is still smarting from McClaren's decision to drop him after a disappointing World Cup campaign but he believes the country will be successful under the new boss.

England have won their first two Euro 2008 qualifiers and take on Macedonia and Croatia next month.

Beckham said: 'I'm certain England will qualify without me. They have a good team and great players and a very good chance of winning something at some point soon.

'The new regime and the new manager is important but what really matters is the players.

'There is a good team spirit and I'm sure not much has changed since the World Cup.'

Injuries to Owen Hargreaves and Aaron Lennon sparked suggestions of a recall for the former skipper.

Beckham said: 'I'm not thinking about playing for England again. That's for other people to decide.

'All I can do is enjoy my football in Spain, work hard and see what the future brings.

'The reason I didn't retire from international football is because I want to play for my country.

'The injuries may have increased my chances of making the squad but I'm not the right person to ask.'

Beckham believes he has another two years of top-level football in him before he devotes his attention to other things, including his football academy in south-east London.

He may not pull on the white shirt of England again but he would love to see one of the children graduate from the academy to play for England.

Beckham said: 'I would be very proud if that happened. We're working towards that but that's not all the academy is about.

'It's about kids coming down to enjoy themselves and getting them off the streets.'