David Beckham believes the influx of foreign players into the Premier League was not the reason England failed to qualify for Euro 2008.
England lost the decisive qualifier 3-2 to Croatia at Wembley on Wednesday – a defeat that cost coach Steve McClaren his job.
“There’s many excuses out there that people can come up with but I don’t think you can blame it on foreign players,” Beckham told BBC London.
“For me, the foreign players have brought something special to the Premiership and our country.
“If you look back at 1974 and 1978 when we didn’t qualify for World Cups back then there was probably 90% of English players in the English league.
“Now there’s probably a lot more foreign players but I don’t think you can turn round and look at it like that.”
Beckham 32, who has won 99 caps for his country, refuses to retire from international football and still sees a role for himself at the 2010 World Cup finals.
“I’ll still be available and hopefully I’ll still be playing, and playing well enough, to be in the England squad in 2010 but who knows?” he said.
“Everything can change and I’ve seen that in the last 12 months. I said at the start of my career I’d always want to play for my country and I’d never retire from playing for my country.
“Obviously that could be taken out of my hands but I want to reach my 100 caps, I want to reach the milestone and to get 100 caps would be a dream come true for me.”