Beckham off the England team

Aug. 11, 2006 at 5:35 PM
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LONDON, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- The England soccer team has evolved to exclude Dave Beckham, the sport's best-known international star.

Steve McClaren, the new coach, announced Friday that Beckham, Sol Campbell and David James are out, The Telegraph reported.

"This is an evolution not a revolution," McClaren said. "I'm looking to build a squad for Euro 2008. It is a new era."

Beckham was captain of the England team through this year's World Cup. The team got knocked out in the quarter-finals by Portugal, with Beckham ending the game early with an injured Achilles tendon.

McClaren said he told Beckham about the decision on Monday.

"I have great respect for David, he was a fantastic captain, a great player and still is," McClaren said. "He took the news well. He was disappointed but I got the reaction I wanted. That was for him to continue to fight for a place."

The decision has no effect on Beckham's position with Real Madrid.

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