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Former England captain David Beckham has revealed that a youth coach in the Three Lions academy told him, at 12-years-old, that he would never play for his country.

Beckham went on to make 115 appearances for the England senior team, making him the third most capped player in the national team's history. The former midfielder captained his country on 59 occasions, played in three World Cups and is thought of as one of the best English players of recent times.


It is hard to believe that the England legend, who also played for the likes of Manchester UnitedReal Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, would have faced such doubts just as he was starting out in the game.

But, Beckham has revealed that as a child he was told by an England youth coach that he was 'too small' and 'not strong enough' to play at the highest level in international football. 

"At about 12 years old, I was told I would never play for my country. And that was told to me by an England coach at the time, at a lower level," Beckham told reporters at a charity event in Indonesia, as quoted by Goal.

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"I was trying to get into a school, academy, and they said you're too small, not strong enough and 'you'll never play for your country'.

"Thirty years on, I made 115 appearances for my country, captained my country, played three World Cups and a had pretty good career," said the former Manchester United star.

And he had some advice for any young players trying to make their way in football: "So, my message to young people out there is, there might be difficult times, difficult moments, but believe in yourself, have fun, enjoy yourself and just love the game."

(You may also be interested in '9 Big Stars Who Are Likely to Miss Out on World Cup Selection This Summer')