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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 27 May, 2020

England youth coach said I'd never play for my country – David Beckham

Prior to going on to captain England and play for them 115 times, Beckham was told as a child that he would not represent his country.

David Beckham celebrating scoring for England against Argentina at the 2002 World Cup
David Beckham celebrating scoring for England against Argentina at the 2002 World Cup

FORMER ENGLAND CAPTAIN David Beckham claims he was told by a youth coach when he was 12 that he would never play for his country because he was “too small”.

Beckham enjoyed an illustrious career, turning out for clubs such as Manchester United, Real Madrid, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain before retiring in 2013.

He is regarded as one of England’s finest players in modern times, playing for the Three Lions on 115 occasions, a record bettered by only Peter Shilton (125) and Wayne Rooney (119).

But even Beckham had to deal with doubt as a child, claiming a coach in the England youth setup told him he would never go on to make it at senior international level.

“At about 12 years old, I was told I would never play for my country,” Beckham told reporters. “And that was told to me by an England coach at the time, at a lower level.

“I was trying to get into a school, academy, and they said you’re too small, not strong enough and ‘you’ll never play for your country’.

“Thirty years on, I made 115 appearance for my country, captained my country, played three World Cups and a had pretty good career.

“So, my message to young people out there is, there might be difficult times, difficult moments, but believe in yourself, have fun, enjoy  yourself and just love the game.”

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