Beckham keen to extend England career, bends it in Sydney

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Sydney, Nov 26: Former England captain David Beckham confirmed his desire to extend his international career after treating Sydney to an exhibition of his kicking skills today.

The 32-year-old Beckham arrived in Australia for Tuesday's friendly between his club LA Galaxy and Sydney FC after coming on as a substitute in England's 3-2 defeat by Croatia on Wednesday.

That result meant England failed to qualify for next year's European Championship but Beckham is not planning to quit the national team with 99 caps.

''I want to go on and I believe I can,'' he said. ''I've got the experience and passion to still play for my country. I hope when the next manager comes in he will give me the chance.'' England, who sacked their coach Steve McClaren last week, were paired with Croatia again in the qualifying draw for the 2010 World Cup.

''Croatia are a very strong team,'' Beckham said. ''It is a tough draw and we need to respect all the teams in our group. We need to go in with a positive frame of mind. Things change quickly on the international scene.'' The former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder trained with his LA Galaxy team mates at the Olympic Stadium for Tomorrow's friendly before crossing the city to the harbour. Beckham joined Wallabies centre Matt Giteau, rugby league international Mark Gasnier and Aussie Rules player Dale Thomas kicking goals from a floating platform on the harbour.

Beckham gave advice to the three Australians about kicking a soccer ball, while they showed him how to hold the oval ball with which they are more familiar.

The quartet took turns taking shots at a soccer goal and a set each of rugby and Aussie Rules posts in front of a spectacular backdrop of the city's Harbour Bridge and Opera House.

Beckham and the Galaxy squad fly to New Zealand on Thursday for a friendly against Wellington Phoenix on Saturday.

UNI

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