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Aston Villa midfielder bounced back from a horror debut in South Africa

England midfielder James Milner credited David Beckham with giving him the belief to contribute at the World Cup.

The 35-year-old England legend has been assisting Fabio Capello after getting the invite to help the Three Lions in South Africa.

Milner has profited from the advice of the former England captain and after his perfect cross set up Jermain Defoe to score the winner for the Three Lions against Slovenia, the Aston Villa star praised Beckham’s influence.

“Since I’ve come into the England squad over the last year or so, I have been in the squad with David Beckham and I have watched him in training,” Milner told The Mirror.

“Before a game he’ll come over and have a chat to you and say what he thinks about the game and give you the odd word of advice.

“It’s fantastic to have a player of his quality and experience about the place, to give the wide players and everyone else a lift, and have a word when it’s needed.

“If David had of been proud of my cross for Jermain, then great. It was nice to contribute and it was a good finish from JD because we have worked a lot on crossing and finishing.

“There has been a lot of talk about the ball with keepers and defenders, but it’s not easy to get on the end of the crosses as well. The ball is moving around, so it is a good finish from Jermain.”

Beckham was ruled out of playing in his fourth World Cup after injuring his Achilles tendon with AC Milan and came to the World Cup to help inspire the Three Lions.

The influence of the Manchester United legend was especially helpful for Milner after his disappointing World Cup debut in which the midfielder was substituted after only 30 minutes struggling after being struck down by a bug before the game against the USA.

 “When you don’t train for three days and you lose a lot of weight before a World Cup, it’s obviously not great timing and I obviously wasn’t feeling 100 per cent.

“Once I was booked, the manager thought it was the right thing for the team to sub me. It was disappointing for me, but it’s not about personal issues and how I feel, it’s about what’s best for England. So it was the right decision.

“I would have been pretty devastated if that had been my last contribution to this World Cup. It’s my first World Cup and you don’t imagine your first game coming to an end after an half-an-hour.

“It was obviously disappointing, but whatever’s best for the team and to get a second chance to start in a big game and manage to contribute to a win was great.


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