Beckham faces exclusion

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> It now seems as though the 31-year-old David Beckham may have to relinquish his place at the right side of midfield as well.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:36 IST
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David Beckham announced his decision to step down from the post of England captain last month, after almost six years in charge. But it now seems as though the 31-year-old may have to relinquish his place at the right side of midfield as well. According to some media reports, new England coach Steve McClaren's plans for the future do not include the talismanic medio. And the first setback for the man known as 'goldenballs' could be his exclusion from the squad for a friendly against Greece at his former home ground Old Trafford, next week. The Real Madrid man had expressed his desire to continue playing for England after the recent World Cup in Germany, but it now seems unlikely that he will get his 95th international cap for England. While wholesale changes are not expected for the game against Greece, the London-born Beckham might find himself replaced in the starting lineup by Shaun Wright-Phillips or Aaron Lennon. A sad end for a man who has contributed a lot to English football, and won an OBE for his efforts. Three World Cups Beckham is the only Englishman to score in three different world cups, having hit the net in 1998, 2002 and 2006. He is also the fifth-most capped player for his country. He has led the side at the last two World Cups and also the last European Championship two years ago. One of the best free-kick takers in the game's history, he's scored 17 times for England since his debut a decade ago. But these achievements do not impress McClaren, which means that other than playing club football, Beckham may soon be found spending more and more time in his academy in Dubai, besides continuing to work as UNICEF's Goodwill Ambassador. Questions might now be raised about his retirement, but there's enough reason to believe that there's time left for yet another comeback.

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