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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 August 2006, 15:04 GMT 16:04 UK
Benitez suggests Gerrard for role
Steve McClaren and Rafa Benitez
McClaren (left) has the full backing of Benitez
Rafael Benitez has recommended his club skipper Steven Gerrard for the England captaincy - but Steve McClaren is keeping his choice for the job secret.

New England boss McClaren is set to name the new captain of the national team on Friday.

"I asked McClaren who would be the next England captain, but was told nothing, he just smiled at me," said Benitez.

"I think Steven would do it well, it would be very good for him. But now he must think about our next game."

That next match for Liverpool is the Champions League third qualifying round first-leg tie against Maccabi Haifa on Wednesday.

Two days after that first competitive game of the new season, Gerrard or one of his rivals John Terry or Gary Neville will be named England captain.

"It will be good for Gerrard even if it is more work for him. We will have to wait for a decision," Benitez said.

"He can certainly do the England job, but in the end it is not our decision and he should just be focused on what Liverpool are doing."

The Spaniard also revealed he was impressed by McClaren's plan for England.

"Steve and me talked about the future for England, the team, it was a good conversation between two friends about football," said Benitez.

"What was interesting was that he had a clear idea, a plan, and he knows what he wants to do. He is clever and knows how to handle this."

SEE ALSO
Beckham quits as England captain
02 Jul 06 |  England
Lee leaves England coaching team
08 Aug 06 |  Internationals
Taylor awaiting McClaren decision
03 Aug 06 |  Internationals
McClaren keeps Clemence as coach
03 Aug 06 |  Internationals
McClaren ready for England task
01 Aug 06 |  Internationals
Shearer rejects role with England
30 Jul 06 |  Internationals
Following Beckham
02 Jul 06 |  England


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