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Fabio Capello left David Beckham call to Baldini

Franco Baldini and David Beckham
Franco Baldini contacted Beckham after Capello carried out his interview

By David Bond
BBC Sports Editor

England general manager Franco Baldini called David Beckham to inform him about a television interview in which Fabio Capello appeared to retire him from international football.

Although Beckham's advisers issued a statement after the story emerged on Wednesday night saying "there has been no discussion of retirement", Baldini did telephone the former England captain after Capello made his comments on Monday.

It is understood Baldini told the Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder that Capello had hinted his England career was over in the interview, thanking him for his contribution during the World Cup in South Africa and adding that he was now "probably too old" for Euro 2012.

Report - How Capello axed Beckham

Following England's 2-1 victory over Hungary at Wembley on Wednesday night, Capello even hinted Beckham, who has 115 caps and is just 10 short of Peter Shilton's record, could be given a friendly farewell.

But Beckham, 35, did not consider the call to be a definitive end to his career with England and his advisers confirmed again on Thursday that he intends to continue to fight for his place in the national team.

For that reason he is not at this stage considering taking up Capello's offer of a farewell friendly match to pay tribute to his career at Wembley later this season.


The confusion over Beckham's future was the third example this week of a breakdown in communication between Capello and his players.

On Sunday, he was embarrassed when Blackburn goalkeeper Paul Robinson and Manchester United defender Wes Brown announced they were quitting England just 24 hours after they had been named in the squad for the Hungary game.

And shortly after the World Cup, Paul Scholes revealed he might have considered Capello's request to come out of international retirement if he had phoned him directly.

Instead it was Baldini who called Scholes a night before Capello was due to name his squad to fly to South Africa in June.

Capello has respect for Beckham - Owen

Now Capello faces criticism over his decision not to ring Beckham personally and inform him of his comments, especially in light of the long and distinguished career the former Manchester United player has enjoyed with his country.

But the Italian is unlikely to alter a tough management style that has brought him so much success at club level in the past and which, before England's World Cup disappointment, was being praised by fans and the media alike.

Both Beckham's advisers and bid officials have confirmed that the fall-out from the Capello interview would not have any impact on his ambassadorial role for England's bid for the World Cup in 2018 in the run-up to the vote on 2 December in Zurich.

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see also
Coach Capello casts Beckham aside
11 Aug 10 |  Football
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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