||[Sep. 16th, 2006|06:24 pm]
ENGLAND AND ME: THE REAL STORY. EXCLUSIVE: DAVID BECKHAM gives his first interview since being dropped by England|
DAVID BECKHAM had just boarded a plane at Madrid airport when his mobile phone began to ring.
It was early last month and the former England skipper knew the announcement of the squad for the friendly against Greece was only a few days away.
He was trying to change from a suit into his Real Madrid tracksuit for the 15-hour flight to Los Angeles and the first leg of the club's American tour.
But this was the call that turned Beckham into the man who fell to earth. It was Steve McClaren on the other end of the line. He began to talk.
"Steve had rung me a week or so earlier to ask me about my recovery from the injury I'd got during the World Cup and how I was fitness-wise," Beckham said.
"This time, he started asking about the injury again but then he moved on to what he really wanted to say. He just said he had got other ideas and he wanted to move on.
"He said that with moving on there come casualties and 'you are one of the casualties.' That was it, really. He asked me how I wanted to deal with it.
"He asked if I wanted to call him back in two days and tell him how I was going to deal with things. He asked how we should deal with it on the press side.
"I told him I had dealt with plenty of bad things that had happened to me in the past. So I said 'you deal with the England side and the team and I will deal with whatever is thrown at me'.
"I heard later there were some reports that I had begged and pleaded with him not to do it. Well, obviously I was upset but nothing like that happened.
"There was no shouting, no crying. It was a five-minute conversation. As soon as he told me I was one of the casualties, that was really when the conversation ended.
"I told him good luck and that it was his decision as the manager. That's the way it goes. There was definitely no crying. Not on the phone to the manager, anyway.
"I was upset but I am a man and I would never crawl to someone to pick me for the team."
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