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Becks' Century Overshadows England Loss

France might have won the match, but it was all about David Beckham at the Stade de France last night, as the England legend became just the fifth player in his country's history to reach 100 caps. Beckham started the match and played 63 minutes before leaving to a standing ovation in front of 78,500 French and English spectators. "Yeah, it was amazing," Beckham said of the ovation. "Both sets of fans. Obviously, you sort of expect it from your own fans, but I thank [the French] for it." And as reporters asked the mandatory question of whether this had been a fitting goodbye, Becks replied, "Definitely not goodbye. Just a thank you."

Signs would indicate that if Beckham maintains his form, the France friendly will not be goodbye. In a strange match controlled by an England team that rarely threatened the France goal, Beckham was England's best player. He was fit, his passing was sharp, his crossing caused the French problems (which to be fair, they dealt with very well), and his set pieces, though few and far between, represented England's best chances. "I'm very happy about David Beckham's performance," England coach Fabio Capello said after the match. "He played like I know he can play. I only substituted him because I wanted to see other players and I know him very well."

Read the whole story at Los Angeles Times »

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