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June 02, 2004
Captain David Beckham holds the key to England's fortunes in the European Football Championship, beginning in Portugal on June 12.
The twice semi-finalists are in a tough group with defending champions France, Switzerland, and Croatia and much will depend on the blond midfielder, who had a none-too-good season at Real Madrid, to see them through the group phase.
More than his football, Beckham's off-field problems have made headlines in recent months, which clearly reflected in his dismal showing for Real in their last few games. Could the same happen to England in the coming weeks?
At the 2002 World Cup, Beckham was inspirational in England reaching the quarter-finals, where they lost to eventual champions Brazil. Can he deliver in Portugal and lead England to their maiden Euro triumph? Can he prove to the world that his face and football are not just a marketing commodity?
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