Former England manager Bobby Robson has claimed it was David Beckham's ousting from the national side which resulted in him moving to semi-retirement with Los Angeles Galaxy.
Real Madrid's 31-year-old former England skipper revealed on Thursday that he would next season play for the American team on a $250 million, five-year contract.
Robson is convinced the decision of national boss Steve McClaren to overlook Beckham for the Euro 2008 qualifier in Croatia last October, despite a long injury list, convinced Beckham his days at the top were numbered.
"The decision killed Beckham's aspiration and hope and, in my view, led directly to this week's announcement that he is off the the United States for a very lucrative semi-retirement," 73-year-old Robson claimed in his column for 'The Mail on Sunday'.
"You have to say now that McClaren was right. Those of us, including myself, who wanted Beckham to be involved did so because we felt he was among England's top 25 players.
"In principle he still should be but, in reality, he hasn't done anything this season to prove it. Even if the legs haven't gone, the motivation has."
He added: "What has become clear this week is that David no longer has the appetite to challenge at the very highest level.