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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 June 2007, 12:16 GMT 13:16 UK
Beckham back to stay, says Hoddle
England midfielder David Beckham
Beckham is set to win his 96th England cap against Estonia
Group E: Estonia v England
Date: Wednesday, 6 June
Kick off: 1930 BST
Venue: Le Coq Arena, Tallinn
Coverage: Live on Sky Sports and BBC Radio Five Live, highlights on BBC ONE at 2240 BST

Former England manager Glenn Hoddle believes there is no reason why David Beckham should not continue playing for his country for "a long time to come".

Beckham, 32, was recalled to face Brazil and is set to start Wednesday's Euro 2008 qualifier in Estonia.

He is now poised to join LA Galaxy in the United States but Hoddle told BBC Five Live: "I think he could be back to stay, whatever happens in America.

"If he keeps himself fit and plays well he could stay in the team a long time."

Will playing in America have an adverse effect on my England chances? I hope not. Physically I will be fine

England's David Beckham

Hoddle added: "David is a fit young man and he has never relied on blistering pace, so he could play until he is 38 or 39 - if he has still got that burning desire.

"In my day, when you hit the 30 mark people were thinking your international career was almost over, but the way these guys train and the habits they get into are much better.

"We all know that the standard of football in America is not going to be that good and if he was only 26 that would be a major problem.

"But David is 32 and has masses of experience and international football might suit him better than the Premiership or La Liga because of the slower tempo."

Hoddle gave Beckham his first England cap against Moldova in September 1996 and the former Chelsea boss says Steve McClaren's decision to recall Beckham after 11 months in the wilderness was the obvious decision.

"He played very well against Brazil and has been excellent for Real Madrid recently," said Hoddle.

"I was surprised that any eyebrows were raised when he was named in the squad because if you look around, who is better to play on the right than David?

"I have no doubts whatsoever he should have been in the squad. His fitness was excellent and everything about his display was there for everyone to see.

"Rightly he has been recalled and he is the best person to play there. I think he could be back to stay."

Former England captain Beckham, who is set to leave Real Madrid for LA Galaxy once the Spanish season is over, says he hopes playing in America next season will not cost him his place in the England squad.

England coach Steve McClaren (left) and assistant Terry Venables
McClaren and Venables reportedly disagreed on Beckham's recall

The 95-times capped midfielder said: "Will playing in America have an adverse effect on my England chances? I hope not. Physically I will be fine. I will still be as good as I am today.

"Travelling is not going to be a problem because I will travel from anywhere to play for my country so we will see.

"I haven't worked out schedules but I am sure it can be done nearer the time.

"Everyone at LA Galaxy knows that I want to play for my country and I am sure they will do everything possible to make it possible for me to play for my country."

McClaren's decision to recall Beckham after picking nine squads without him was reportedly against the wishes of assistant boss Terry Venables.

But the former England coach says it has nothing to do with him who McClaren picks.

"I supported the decision Steve made with regard to Beckham last August but I can understand bringing him back," Venables told the News of the World.

"Whether I agree or not is immaterial. My job is to give a straight answer, when asked.

"What Steve does with that opinion is up to him and from there we all work with what he has decided. He is the boss.

"I have read that I was against the idea, as if there are two camps within the England coaching set-up. That is simply not how it happens."

SEE ALSO
McClaren in complacency warning
03 Jun 07 |  Internationals
England return delights Beckham
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McClaren salutes Beckham display
01 Jun 07 |  Internationals
England 1-1 Brazil
01 Jun 07 |  Internationals
England Player Rater
28 Mar 07 |  Internationals
England v Brazil photos
01 Jun 07 |  Football
BBC pundits on England v Brazil
01 Jun 07 |  Internationals
Comment: Gerrard eclipses Beckham
01 Jun 07 |  Football


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