England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson must hope that David Beckham’s once-suspect temperament is not playing up again as he prepares for this summer’s Euro 2004 finals in Portugal.
With his private life in the public glare more than ever and a dream move to Real Madrid having turned sour in the latter stages of the season, Beckham revealed a glimpse of his former petulance when being sent off in Spain last night.
His new club slumped to a new 102-year low after crashing to their fourth successive Primera Liga defeat at already-relegated Murcia in a game which also featured the first-half dismissal of Beckham.
The England captain was shown the red card for swearing at one of the referee’s assistants shortly after the award of the penalty which led to Murcia doubling their early lead.
Beckham was still seething two minutes later when he went in for a strong tackle. He got the ball but then decided to deliver a volley of abuse to the aforementioned linesman. Alvarez was informed and brandished the red card.
It was the second red card of Beckham’s spell in Spain. He was dismissed in the Copa del Rey against Valencia after receiving two yellow cards.
And Beckham memorably saw red during England’s second-round defeat against Argentina at the 1998 World Cup finals in France.