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BAMAPHIN 22
08-11-2006, 04:21 PM
England may never again rely on David Beckham's bending free kicks.
Coach Steve McClaren on Friday left him off the squad that will face European champion Greece on Wednesday in an exhibition game.

The coach has not completely shut the door on one of soccer's most glamorous and popular players, but McClaren is trying to build a national team without the 31-year-old Real Madrid midfielder.

"I spoke to David last Monday and notified him of my decision and said that I was planning for the future, looking to change things, and David wasn't included," McClaren said.

"At the present moment I am looking to take this team in a different direction. It's a new beginning. It's a clean sheet of paper for everybody and that's why I decided not to pick David Beckham."

The game against Greece is at Old Trafford, where Beckham scored some of his greatest goals for Manchester United and England. It was against Greece at Old Trafford that Beckham curled in a last-minute goal in 2001, putting England in the 2002 World Cup.


http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/soccer/08/11/bc.eu.spt.soc.england.squad.ap/index.html