David Beckham has admitted "nothing is guaranteed" when it comes to his hopes of playing for England at the 2010 World Cup finals. The former Three Lions captain will join AC Milan in January in a bid to prove his form and fitness to boss Fabio Capello but Beckham is prepared to be left out if he is not performing.
The LA Galaxy midifelder has been in the public eye all week as he played a central role in helping steer England's 2018 World Cup bid back on track in South Africa, before participating in the draw for next summer's finals in Cape Town.
But with the likes of Theo Walcott, Aaron Lennon, Shaun Wright-Phillips and James Milner - who scored for Aston Villa on Saturday - all in contention for the right midfield berth, the former captain acknowledges that his participation in the main event is not guaranteed.
"I do not fear being axed for the World Cup. If I don't make the squad it's not going to stop me supporting the team,'' he said.
"Nothing is guaranteed, I have discovered that is true in my career. But if I can be part of it then it will be amazing.
"Everybody knows how much I love playing for my country but the manager will pick a squad he thinks will win the competition. That has to be the way.
"If I am not part of that, of course I'd be upset but it is something I would still respect. It would be because the manager felt it was right in terms of his system and having the best players in the team.
The 34-year-old has played at three World Cups for England, captaining the side in both the 2002 and 2006 finals, and while he admits his move to Serie A should improve his chances of selection, he is under no illusions as to Capello's policy for not picking in-form players.
"It still hurts that I was left out by Steve McClaren after I had resigned the captaincy but being picked for next summer is not something I take for granted.
"Going to Milan doesn't guarantee anything. It gives me a chance of being in the squad but it doesn't guarantee it.''