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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 March 2007, 12:40 GMT
Pressure grows for Beckham recall
David Beckham in action for Real Madrid
David Beckham has made a powerful case for a return to the international fold

Gary Lineker
Gary Lineker and Michael Owen believe Real Madrid's David Beckham would still be an effective player for England.

The 31-year-old ex-captain has not been selected for England since coach Steve McClaren succeeded Sven-Goran Eriksson.

But in his Sunday Telegraph column, Lineker said: "I think McClaren would be wise to bring back Beckham as a short-term measure."

And Owen told BBC Five Live Sport: "Beckham is, and has been for many years, a world class player."

England are third in their Euro 2008 qualifying group.


In their last two qualifiers they drew at home with Macedonia then suffered a defeat in Croatia.

McClaren's team face a crucial fixture in Israel on 24 March.

Midfielder Beckham has been in excellent form for Real Madrid since being recalled to the team.

He was left out by coach Fabio Capello after the news of his deal to join Major League Soccer side LA Galaxy at the end of the season became public in January.

But Beckham continued to train hard and was eventually brought back into the team at a time when Real were in poor form.

And Lineker added: "David Beckham has made a powerful case for a return to the international fold.

He has done England a great service over the years

Michael Owen on David Beckham

"He has shown his usual determination by battling back into the Real Madrid team after being told that he would never play under Fabio Capello again.

"With England wobbling, he could provide invaluable experience in what is looking like a crucial match.

"If you look at it objectively he remains one of the top 20 players available to McClaren.

"Beckham knows how to play international football. Yes, he did not play well for England over the past couple of years but I think he was more of a victim of the way the team played rather than a cause of it."

Beckham has 94 caps for England but Lineker believes it is unlikely he will reach 100 because his international career would end once and for all upon moving to America.

Owen is currently recovering from a knee injury he sustained in last year's World Cup.

And he added of Beckham: "He has always been a top player at fantastic teams and won a lot of medals.

"He has done England a great service over the years. You know he will deliver great free-kicks and work his socks off for the cause.

"It is not like the nation don't know what they will get from Beckham."

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