David Beckham plans soccer marathon

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/d/davidbeckham_ap.jpg' class='caption'> David Beckham's life is moving at mind-bending speed with soccer clins to preside over, news conference to attend, flights to catch and play soccer.

Updated: August 20, 2007 17:55 IST
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New York:

David Beckham's life is moving at mind-bending speed.

There are soccer clinics to preside over, news conferences to attend, flights to catch and somewhere in there, a little bit of soccer, too. Especially after he was chosen on Friday to play for England next week against Germany.

He's got it all planned out, though. After Wednesday night's exhibition ("I'm not sure any game against Germany at Wembley is a friendly"), he intends to fly to Los Angeles in time to play in the Galaxy's game against Chivas USA the following day at 7 pm local time - or 3 am on Friday in London.

"I haven't done that since I was probably eight years old or nine years old when we used to play games Saturday-Sunday," Beckham said. "I'm honored to have been called into the England squad again. That's something I've always taken seriously and always will take seriously."

Beckham was busy enough on Friday, holding an afternoon soccer clinic in the Harlem section of the borough of Manhattan with New York Red Bulls forwards Jozy Altidore and Juan Pablo Angel before facing a room full of about a hundred media members and a couple dozen TV cameras.

Once he leaves for England, he might not spend enough time on the ground to develop much in the way of jet lag. He plans to fly to London on Sunday, the morning after what figures to be his first Major League Soccer start against the Red Bulls.

Match vs Germany

Beckham was chosen to play for England despite a tender ankle that has limited his play in the States to just one start and a handful of appearances as a substitute.

The match at London's new Wembley Stadium is England's only game before European Championship qualifiers against Israel and Russia in early September. Both opponents lead fourth-place England in their group.

But before Becks can focus on Germany, he's got Saturday's game on Giants Stadium's artificial turf to consider. The surface won't be kind to his ankle, and he's almost certain to be substituted. But it should be worth it for nearly all involved.

"I can tell that everyone on this team is really looking forward to this opportunity. David is a great guy and he just didn't become famous in January," said Red Bulls midfielder and former US captain Claudio Reyna, an English Premier League veteran like Beckham. "I'm a soccer fan more than anything, and honestly, I'm glad he's here. We appreciate the attention he brings to the game."

Sunday morning, Beckham will be off to England to rest up before his soccerthon of two matches separated by eight time zones, 8,700 kilometers and about 29 hours from the conclusion of the Germany match and the start of the one against Chivas USA.

"It does get tiring of course, but I think if you look after yourself on and off the pitch then you can cope with anything," Beckham said. "I definitely don't think it's going to affect my performances for my country or also for the Galaxy."

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