Soccer superstar David Beckham has urged his fellow Brits to follow America's example by taking pride in their country's athletes, instead of "knocking them down".

The Real Madrid ace is amazed by America's respect for sportsmen, and is glad he left England and moved to Spain, because he was weary of the negative publicity he got in Britain.

Beckham tells US website, "It's one thing I like about America - they respect the sportsman. They put them up on a pedestal. They don't try to knock them down.

"And that's a great thing, to be respected by the whole country. It's so patriotic."

18/07/2005 09:29