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Beckham fired up for Euro 2004

May 26, 2004 15:15 IST
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England captain David Beckham says he has nothing to prove to sceptics at Euro 2004 after his first season at Real Madrid ended in disappointment.

Beckham, who made a bright start to his move to the Primera Liga from Manchester United, has faced a growing number of critics over his performances in Spain as Real finished the season without a trophy.

"I don't think I've got anything to prove to people," Beckham said on Tuesday at a pre-tournament training camp in Sardinia.

"Since I moved to Real Madrid, from the first game onwards, I had to prove to people in Spain that I could actually play football instead of just selling shirts and I felt that I've done that."

"I'm disappointed not to have won anything at the end of the season. But I'm into a major championship now and with the team we've got, you never know what's going to happen."

Beckham said he has no plans to return to the premier league, dismissing speculation in the media that a move to big-spending Chelsea is imminent.

"Whatever rumours there were about me moving back to England were never started by me," he said. "I was always happy at Real Madrid and wanted to stay there and that's the way it's been in my mind.

"I've just had to clear it up for other people...I'm very happy at the moment and looking forward to this championship."

DISAPPOINTING SEASON

Real's disappointing season led on Monday to the sacking of coach Carlos Queiroz after only one season and his replacement by former Spain boss Jose Antonio Camacho.

"It's always a disaster for a manager to only get one season but clubs are different around Europe...and what the president says always goes," Beckham said when asked about Queiroz, who had been assistant manager at United.

Despite the problems at club level, Beckham is buoyant about England's prospects at Euro 2004 in Portugal.

"There'll always be a sense of failure if we don't win the thing because the expectations with the manager, the fans and everyone from our country is very high. And rightly so.

"We've got a great bunch of players, a lot of talent in the team...and we've got our own expectations. And they're as high as anyone else's.

"One of my goals is to win something with England. If we can do that this summer, then great. If not, I'll carry on trying."

As for his fitness, Beckham said he had a minor ankle knock but was a lot more upbeat than before the 2002 World Cup, where he had not fully recovered from a broken foot.

"I've not broken any bones so far before this competition," he said. "Leading into the World Cup I felt 95 percent fit. But going into this I'm fresh...I'm a lot more confident."

Beckham had an open mind on his position in Portugal, having played a central midfield role for Real after a career on the right.

"I've enjoyed my time in the centre this season but whatever position the manager puts me in I'll play there. If that's the position I've always played for England in, then great."

England open their campaign in Group B on June 13 against champions France before facing Switzerland and Croatia.

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Source: REUTERS
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