David Beckham has admitted he deliberately went looking for a booking after breaking a rib against Wales last Saturday.
Aware that he would be unfit for England’s match with Azerbaijan on Wednesday, Beckham decided to get himself booked so he could serve out a one-match suspension.
“I am sure some people think I have not got the brains to be that clever,” he said.
“But I do have the brains. I could feel the injury, so I fouled Thatcher. It was deliberate.
“I knew straight away I had broken my ribs. I have done it before. I knew I will be out for a few weeks, so I thought, ‘Let’s get the yellow card out of the way.’
“I am sorry I am not going to Azerbaijan. Saturday was a really proud day to be English. Some of the football we played was great; we kept the ball really well.”
The Real Madrid midfielder, already on a yellow card from a previous international, was injured in a collision with Ben Thatcher, but he stayed on the pitch to earn a booking with a heavy challenge on the same player.