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Last Updated: Sunday, 13 August 2006, 09:10 GMT 10:10 UK
McClaren offers hope to Beckham
David Beckham and Steve McClaren
Beckham has vowed to fight for an England recall
England manager Steve McClaren has not ruled out recalling former captain David Beckham in the future.

The new boss left the 31-year-old out of his first squad, saying he wanted to go in a "different direction".

But McClaren told BBC Five Live: "It's not the England manager's decision to end anyone's international career.

"While David says he has the passion to play for England, I have to respect that and I will monitor the situation in Madrid. I will never say never."

Beckham stepped down as captain after England's World Cup quarter-final defeat in July but expressed his desire to continue playing.

Ultimately, I know Wayne Rooney wants to be captain of England

Steve McClaren

However, McClaren caused a huge surprise with his first squad selection as England boss by dropping the Real Madrid midfielder for Wednesday's friendly against Greece.

"I would not say it was hardest decision I've made," McClaren added.

"It would have been hard if I didn't have the relationship I've got with him and if I didn't have the respect I have for him.

"It was a big decision but one I felt I had to make for the future."

McClaren has chosen John Terry to succeed Beckham as captain but predicted that Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney could lead his country in the future.

"Most definitely," said McClaren.

Theo Walcott has a bright future and a future playing for England

Steve McClaren

"He is a fantastic character. He is still very young but he wants to be the best player in the world and, ultimately, I know he will want to be captain of England.

"That is a possibility."

McClaren also expects Arsenal striker Theo Walcott to be part of his plans in the future.

The 17-year-old was a surprise choice in previous manager Sven-Goran Eriksson's World Cup squad, having never played at Premiership level.

England midfielder Steven Gerrard said in his autobiography that Walcott, who did not play in the finals in Germany, "had no right to be there".

However, McClaren had encouraging words for the Gunners youngster.

"Theo Walcott is a very good player, he has a bright future and a future playing for England," he said.

"But what he needs now is that experience he needs to play regularly at this level.

"We will give him that opportunity at under-21 level and, hopefully, he will break through and we will see him at senior level again."

SEE ALSO
McClaren ends Beckham England era
11 Aug 06 |  Internationals
Verdicts on Beckham
11 Aug 06 |  Internationals
Beckham's England captaincy in photos
02 Jul 06 |  Internationals
Beckham timeline
11 Aug 06 |  Football
McClaren restores the passion
11 Aug 06 |  Internationals
Beckham quits as England captain
02 Jul 06 |  England


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