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Beckham: I'd love England spot

David Beckham admits he did give retirement a second thought but insists he is content being an England spectator rather than player.

Last Updated: 05/10/13 at 12:08 Post Comment

David Beckham: Did give retirement a second thought earlier this year

David Beckham: Did give retirement a second thought earlier this year

Before revealing his decision to retire in May, Beckham held discussions with close friend and former Manchester United team-mate Gary Neville and claimed he "thought", rather than knew, it was the right time to depart the big stage.

The 38-year-old - who became England's most capped outfield player with 115 appearances - did enjoy a prolific swansong however, facing Barcelona in the Champions League and helping Paris St Germain to the French Ligue 1 title.

While rumours of the midfielder emulating Paolo Maldini and playing into his 40s linger, Beckham appears content with his decision, insisting he is not looking back.

"A decision like that, I was always going to second guess myself," he told Telegraph Sport. "I was always going to question whether I was going to make the right decision or not.

"But I think you always do that as an athlete, you always feel like you can play on when you can't. That's the passion behind the athlete."

Such passion may escalate in coming days as England aim to secure victories over Montenegro and Poland to guarantee a place in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Beckham always donned the Three Lions jersey with pride and continues to speak optimistically of the national team's future as a spectator.

Patriot

"I get excited for the England games," he said. "I would still love to be out there playing for my country.

"There is a transitional period. It's a new manager for England. Roy Hodgson has come in and I think he has done a good job. He has a lot of very young players coming into the team and that is great for the future.

"They'll be fine. Once they have qualified for the World Cup, people can start to get their breath back and start enjoying these games again."

Rewind 12 years and England's bid to participate in the 2002 World Cup was on tenterhooks before Beckham's memorable injury-time free kick defeated Greece and booked a seat on the plane to Asia.

"They are big games and, as a player, you do feel how much they mean to the country," Beckham added.

"The only way the young players are going to get better is putting them into the situation they are in at the moment.

Transitions

"They have got experienced players, like Steven [Gerrard], like Frank [Lampard], that they can look up to and get great advice from. I am positive.

"We are in the driver's seat and I do believe we have a very strong group of players coming through. It is just down to the players to perform."

With David Moyes taking over the reins from Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford, Beckham believes United, where he enjoyed 10 years in the top flight, are experiencing a similar transition.

"There was always going to be that moment when Sir Alex Ferguson retired," he said.

"Who was going to take over, what was it going to be like when a new manager came in, were they going to be the same force as they have been over the last 20 years?

"They will be because they are Manchester United. There's a transitional period that will happen but David Moyes is a very good manager."

David Beckham is a Sky Sports Living for Sport ambassador. Living for Sport is using high profile athletes and skills to improve the lives of thousands of young people. To find out more, visit www.skysports.com/livingforsport.

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