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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 May 2007, 11:00 GMT 12:00 UK
Beckham recalled to England squad
David Beckham
Beckham has worked hard for Real Madrid in recent weeks
England v Brazil (Fri 1 June)
Live on BBC ONE from 1930 BST & Radio Five Live
Estonia v England (Wed 6 June)
Live on Sky Sports and BBC Radio Five Live, highlights on BBC ONE

Former captain David Beckham has been named in the England squad for the first time since the 2006 World Cup.

Coach Steve McClaren's U-turn means Beckham, 32, is set to start Friday's friendly against Brazil followed by the Euro 2008 qualifier in Estonia.

Fit-again Newcastle striker Michael Owen returns in place of Wayne Rooney, who is suspended for the Estonia game.

Reading's Nicky Shorey, David Bentley of Blackburn and Chelsea's Joe Cole are also included in the 26-man squad.

And Manchester United forward Alan Smith also figures after scoring the opening goal in the England B win over Albania.

Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon is selected despite picking up a knock in that 3-1 victory at Burnley's Turf Moor.

But the Spurs midfielder could find his opportunities limited with Beckham back in the fold.

606: DEBATE

Head coach Steve McClaren told BBC Sport: "Everyone knows David's attributes and he's a big-game player who can help us win in Estonia.

"We've a very important game in Estonia, we need to win it and it is a squad that can win it."

Real Madrid midfielder Beckham last played for England in the World Cup quarter-final defeat against Portugal last June, after which he resigned the captaincy, and has not been selected in any of McClaren's nine previous squads.

McClaren also played down reports that senior members of his squad did not want Beckham recalled.

But he refused to be drawn on whether the former captain's move to Major League Soccer in the summer would hinder his international prospects in the long term.

"Everybody's professional and we've a squad that will blend together that will get us a result and I'm sure everyone will welcome David back," he added.

"But all I'm thinking about is the next two games and we're not looking beyond that. The priority is the next 10 days.

"Obviously his form has been excellent at Real Madrid and he can help us win in Estonia. Beyond that we'll cross that bridge when we come to it."

Beckham is set to move to LA Galaxy at the end of the Spanish season and is confident he can become a fixture in England's plans again.

"I'll be a lot fitter (playing in LA), still as fit as I am now, maybe more fit," the midfielder told BBC Radio Five Live ahead of the squad announcement.

"The training will be difficult in America with the humidity so I still feel I'd be able to play for England."

Hear the full David Beckham interview on Five Live's 606 show on Saturday 26 May at 1800 BST.


Full England squad to face Brazil and Estonia:

Goalkeepers: Robinson (Tottenham), Carson (Liverpool), Green (West Ham).

Defenders: P Neville (Everton), R Ferdinand (Man Utd), Terry (Chelsea), Bridge (Chelsea), Brown (Man Utd), Carragher (Liverpool), Dawson (Tottenham), King (Tottenham), Shorey (Reading).

Midfielders: Beckham (Real Madrid), Gerrard (Liverpool), Jenas (Tottenham), J Cole (Chelsea), Lennon (Tottenham), Bentley (Blackburn), Carrick (Man Utd), Lampard (Chelsea), Downing (Middlesbrough), Dyer (Newcastle).

Forwards: Crouch (Liverpool), Owen (Newcastle), Smith (Man Utd), Defoe (Tottenham).

SEE ALSO
Pick your England XI
26 May 07 |  Internationals
Ferdinand, Dawson out for England
29 May 07 |  Internationals
Debate: Beckham returns
25 May 07 |  Football
McClaren praises Beckham desire
29 May 07 |  Internationals
McClaren must resist Beckham call
25 May 07 |  Internationals
England B 3-1 Albania
24 May 07 |  Internationals
Henry backs Beckham for England
22 May 07 |  Internationals
McClaren ends Beckham England era
11 Aug 06 |  Internationals


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