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Page last updated at 22:27 GMT, Wednesday, 11 August 2010 23:27 UK

David Beckham has no England future, says Fabio Capello

Fabio Capello and David Beckham
Beckham played in 16 games out of 21 under Capello before getting injured

England coach Fabio Capello says he will not pick David Beckham to play in another competitive international.

The Italian wants to build around players younger than the 35-year-old former Manchester United midfielder.

Asked if Beckham was in his plans, Capello said: "No, I need to change it. David is a fantastic player but I think we need new players for the future."

Capello said Beckham could play once more for England at Wembley so fans could pay tribute to the ex-skipper.

The Italian, who revealed he has not spoken to Beckham about his future, stated: "If he is fit, I hope we will play one more game here at Wembley so the fans can say goodbye."

Capello was speaking after watching his new-look England side defeat Hungary 2-1 in a friendly at Wembley - their first match since the World Cup.

Theo Walcott and Adam Johnson both impressed in Beckham's favoured position on the right wing.

"I saw four young players tonight," the coach told BBC Radio 5 live. "This is the future of the team under Fabio Capello or another manager."

Capello hails Beckham contribution

Former captain Beckham, who joined Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007, has 115 England caps - more than any other outfield player.

His last appearance for England was as a substitute in October 2009 in a 3-0 World Cup qualifying win against Belarus.

He missed out on playing in the World Cup in South Africa because of an Achilles tendon injury.

Capello's feelings were first revealed in a television interview before Wednesday night's friendly, prompting Beckham's agent to release a statement confirming the player's desire to carry on playing for England.

It read: "For your information, there has been no discussion of retirement. He will always be available for his country, when fit and if needed he will be there."

In an interview with BBC Sport in July, the former Real Madrid midfielder said he still believed he had something to offer England.

"I'm not ready to step aside," he commented. "If I don't get picked for England again then I'm very proud of my record, 100 starts and 115 games. I'm very proud of that but I still believe I have a part to play.

"I take each day, week, month and year as it comes. Like I say, I never want to step down from playing for my country."

Upon returning to training with LA Galaxy on Wednesday - much earlier than expected in light of the Achilles tendon problem he suffered in March - Beckham said he hoped to play again soon.

"A few people are surprised, but I'm not [about returning so early]," he told the LA Galaxy website, before hearing Capello's announcement prior to the England game. "I expected to push myself to the limit and I have.

"In my own head I could have been back a month ago. The doctors said 1 October, but hopefully it will be a few weeks before that."


"I will know personally when I am ready. Obviously I have to listen to the advice of the doctors, but in the end, it will be me knowing whether I'm ready or not."

Steven Gerrard, who scored both goals for England on Wednesday night, tipped Beckham to work hard to force himself back into Capello's thinking.

"I'm sure that if he hears that news, it will drive him on and he'll try to prove people wrong and try to get back in the set-up because I know he loves playing for England," he added.

Reflecting on his former team-mate's international career, Gerrard said Beckham would enjoy "legendary status" among supporters.

"He's put a long shift in as an England player," he stated. "He's had some fantastic performances, some fantastic goals, memories. I've learnt a lot from David and it's been a pleasure to play alongside him."

Goalkeeper Joe Hart described Beckham as an "ambassador for the game" who was an "icon to the players".

Beckham made his England debut in 1996 and helped his country qualify for the 1998 World Cup under Glenn Hoddle.

After scoring a superb free-kick in the group stages, Beckham was sent off in the round of 16 for kicking Argentina's Diego Simeone and was subsequently vilified as England went out of the tournament.

However, he remained one of his country's most important players and was named captain by interim manager Peter Taylor for a friendly against Italy in 2000.

Sven-Goran Eriksson stuck by Taylor's choice and Beckham was inspirational in England qualifying for the 2002 World Cup, sealing their place at the tournament with a last-minute free-kick against Greece.

Beckham captained England on 58 occasions, tearfully relinquishing the armband after their exit from the 2006 World Cup.

He was dropped by Steve McClaren but was restored to the side as England's qualifying campaign for Euro 2008 faltered.

Beckham is an England legend - Gerrard

He played a role in 16 of the 21 matches matches under Capello before a ruptured Achilles tendon, suffered when playing on loan for AC Milan, put paid to his hopes of appearing in a fourth straight World Cup.

Instead, he was a member of Capello's back-up staff as England crashed out to Germany in the last 16.

Beckham returned to full training with LA Galaxy on Wednesday and is hoping to return to Major League Soccer action in October.

Former Football Association chief executive David Davies told the BBC that it is too soon to write off Beckham, despite Capello's words.

"He has had one of the great England careers of any England player," he said.

"I've heard about the end of David's international career before and he came back. Who knows, even at 35, he might manage it again."

"David Beckham is an incredible role-model in the sport. We all remember the great free-kicks, and moments he's been responsible for... particularly the Greece game."

Prime Minister David Cameron paid tribute to Beckham as "an incredible role-model".

But he refused to be drawn on whether he agreed with Capello's decision, adding: "One thing I've learnt in my first three months in the job is that I should let the England football manager get on with managing the team."

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see also
West Ham keen to recruit Beckham
12 Aug 10 |  West Ham
Gerrard hails young players
11 Aug 10 |  Football
In-depth David Beckham interview
14 Jul 10 |  Football
No third Milan stint for Beckham
31 Jul 10 |  Europe
Beckham confirms 2010 World Cup role
14 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Beckham targets comeback after op
16 Mar 10 |  Football
Beckham's World Cup dream over
15 Mar 10 |  Europe
Beckham steps down from captain's role
02 Jul 06 |  Football
Beckham's Argentine redemption
01 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
1998 - Beckham off, England out
30 May 10 |  World Cup 2010

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