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England Career: 1996-2009
After making his debut against Moldova in 1996, Beckham quickly became a fixture of Glenn Hoddle’s England as they qualified ahead of Italy for the 1998 World Cup.
Hoddle initially left Beckham on the bench at the start of the tournament, but Beckham started against Colombia in the crunch, final group game and responded by scoring a free-kick for his first England goal.
However, a much deeper low was quickly to follow this high as Beckham was sent off for petulantly kicking out at Diego Simeone as England went out on penalties to Argentina in the second round.
Kevin Keegan’s resignation shortly after Euro 2000 saw Peter Taylor appointed caretaker manager of the national side and he handed the captain’s armband to Beckham for the very first time.
Beckham retained the captaincy after Sven-Goran Eriksson’s appointment and famously netted a last-gasp free-kick against Greece in 2001 to send England to the World Cup.
In Japan and South Korea, Beckham was able to redeem himself by scoring the winning goal against Argentina but his fitness was in question after a pre-tournament injury and England went out in the quarter-finals.
This was to be the limit for England and Beckham at both Euro 2004 (where he missed a penalty in the shoot-out defeat to Portugal) and the 2006 World Cup.
Beckham did, however, become the first England player to score in three World Cups when he scored against Ecuador.
After being dropped by Steve McClaren, Beckham fought his way back.
He has since become England’s highest-capped outfield player after a string of performances under Fabio Capello before he was forced to miss the 2010 World Cup through injury.