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Page last updated at 15:35 GMT, Saturday, 31 May 2008 16:35 UK

Beckham handed England captaincy

Venue: Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain
Date: Sunday, 1 June Kick-off: 2230 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC ONE, BBC Radio 5 Live/online

David Beckham and Fabio Capello
Beckham appears to have won over Capello again

David Beckham has been named England captain for Sunday's friendly against Trinidad & Tobago.

It is a remarkable turnaround for the 33-year-old who stepped down as skipper after the 2006 World Cup and was then dropped by former boss Steve McClaren.

The midfielder did regain his place under McClaren but was then made to wait for his 100th cap when current manager Fabio Capello took charge.

Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard and John Terry were Capello's previous skippers.

The Italian is rotating the captaincy among his players before he makes a permanent decision.

Capello said: "When I took over as manager I decided to choose a different captain for each game, and David was on one of the four players I thought of.

"David will be the last captain - but only for this game.

"He played very well against USA in the first half and he starts as captain in the next game. But it is impossible to know what will happen in the future."

Beckham will lead the team out for the 59th time on Sunday and is likely to take charge of an inexperienced England team.

Some of the younger squad members may be given the chance to impress as seven players involved in the Champions League final between Chelsea and Manchester United - including Terry and Wayne Rooney - have stayed behind.

I have a few more wrinkles now but I still feel I can do what I did 10 years ago

David Beckham

Capello has had concerns over Beckham's fitness and the fact that he now plays his football in the USA with LA Galaxy.

Asked if he had changed his mind about Beckham, Capello replied: "No, I know David very well because I had him with me at Real Madrid.

"We had some problems there at the start but he was very important for me there at the end of our time."

However, Beckham's recent performances will have no doubt put him back in Capello's thoughts for England's World Cup qualifying campaign next season.

Particularly when he set up the opener in the recent 2-0 win against the USA, delivering a precise free-kick for Terry to head in.

Beckham said: "People will always question whether I can still play at this level but I want to carry on. I am not ready to stop playing for my country.

"I have a few more wrinkles now but I still feel I can do what I did 10 years ago.

"I was happy with my performance against France in March, my first game under Fabio Capello, and it was the same against the United States the other night.

Crazy Cesc & his doughnut disco!

"I was happy to set up the opening goal. I can bring a lot more to the team than set pieces but it is one of my strongest things that I can do in the game.

"There is always a chance if I get a set piece that I'll put it in the right place for someone to score."

Ferdinand had been thought to be in pole position to take the captain's armband on a permanent basis after his efforts for Manchester United in their double-winning campaign.

But the defender, who led England against France in March, remains cautious.

"It's down to the manager, he has said he will make his decision next season so we will all be waiting to hear what he has to say," he said.

"Who wouldn't want to be captain of their country? There are four or five of us vying to become that.

"Whoever gets the responsibility of being captain, it will be a proud moment for him and his family and all the lads will get behind it."

see also
Beckham's England captaincy in photos
31 May 08 |  Internationals
Capello to blood fringe players
31 May 08 |  Internationals
Terry to lead England against USA
28 May 08 |  Internationals
England 2-0 USA
28 May 08 |  Internationals
Rooney 'can be England captain'
15 Apr 08 |  Football
Capello names Gerrard as captain
05 Feb 08 |  Internationals

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