Sun, Jun 25, 2006 - Page 23 News List

World Cup: Penalty shootout? Give me another go, says stoic Beckham


David Beckham has missed penalties for England in three crucial matches.

Still, he's not afraid to step up to the spot if England needs to win a shootout to get past Ecuador in the second round of the World Cup.

"I've said all the way along that I'd step up for a penalty whether I'm in the first five or not," Beckham said on Friday. "I'm confident that I'll put myself up there."

Beckham has been replaced by Frank Lampard as England's main penalty-taker after missing against Turkey in a 2004 European Championship qualifier, against France the opening game of that tournament and in a quarter-final shootout defeat to Portugal.

That's just part of England's poor record in penalties. The team has lost on penalties in three of its last five tournaments -- the 1996 European Championship semi-finals, the second round of the 1998 World Cup and the 2004 European Championship quarter-finals.

"You can prepare as much as you like on the training pitch but once you're in the stadium with 60 or 70,000 fans watching you, it's different," Beckham said. "We've prepared enough, we've been practicing. Hopefully it won't come to that. Hopefully we can finish it off after 90 minutes. But if it comes to that, we're prepared."

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