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Learning English - Words in the News
03 July, 2006 - Published 12:50 GMT
Beckham resigns as captain of England
David Beckham

David Beckham has resigned as captain of England following the national team's failure to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup in Germany. He'd been captain for almost six years and in a statement he said it was time for someone else to lead the team. This report from Harry Peart:

Listen to the story

David Beckham said it had been an honour and a privilege to have captained England. Of his 95 international appearances 58 have been wearing the captain's armband. In an emotional news conference he said he felt the time was right to step down after discussing it with his family. He said it was the most difficult decision of his career.

By his own standards he's had a poor World Cup and even his trademark free kicks and corner kicks have been wayward. Pressure has been mounting for him to step aside and his retention as captain has been linked to his close ties with the coach, Sven Goran Eriksson.

But with the Swede now stepping down, Beckham has felt it time to resign his captaincy but he stressed that he wanted to continue to play for the team and help the new manager Steve McClaren and the new captain. Steve Gerrard and John Terry are favourites to take over the role.

Harry Peart, BBC, Berlin

Listen to the words

a privilege
an honour, a special right

here, taking part in matches

to step down
to resign, to stop doing the job

By his own standards
according to his ability to perform

distinctive, characteristic

not good, freakish

increasing, growing bigger

to step aside
to resign, to stop doing the job

remaining, continuing to be

links, connections

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