Despite his prominence with Manchester United, Beckham didn't make the England squad until after Euro 96.
Becks played in all of England's qualifying matches for the 1998 World Cup, but when the tournament came around, he was dropped for the first two group matches.
Later, he would accuse manager Glenn Hoddle of making him feel "sick" with disappointment for this (via The Sun), but it was the nation's turn to be disappointed in the midfielder in the Round of 16 match against Argentina.
Shortly after Javier Zanetti scored an equalising goal, Beckham was fouled by Diego Simeone. As he laid face first on the field, Beckham kicked Simeone in retaliation. Even though Simeone made a meal of it, the kick was a petulant act that earned Beckham a red card.
When England were subsequently eliminated in a penalty shootout (how else would they be eliminated?!), Beckham became public enemy No. 1. He was booed at every stadium he visited with United the following season, and there were even reports of death threats and Beckham effigies being hung in the streets.
It took three years for Beckham to redeem himself in an England shirt.