David Beckham stands up for Wayne Rooney

Beckham famously got himself sent off in the 1998 World Cup and Rooney's discipline has been in the spotlight after his dismissal against Fulham at the weekend, when he punched a corner flag on his way to the dressing room.

Rooney also received a red card in the quarter-finals of England's last appearance at a major tournament, in 2006 against Portugal, and ahead of the matches against Slovakia and Ukraine Fabio Capello made a light-hearted reference during training to the Craven Cottage dismissal, saying that the Manchester United forward was a "crazy man".

"With Wayne Rooney you don't get the exceptional talent and player you have without that side of his game," said Beckham.

"If you take that side out of his game, he becomes a different player, a different animal. You don't want to take that out of him.