Football

England door appears shut for Beckham

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Fabio Capello has ruled out the possibility of David Beckham remaining within the England set-up.

Capello signalled the end of Beckham's international career on Wednesday when he claimed the 35-year-old was "too old" to be considered for his new-look Three Lions squad.

The popular former skipper has been pencilled in for a farewell appearance in the planned November friendly against France at Wembley but after that he will be left to concentrate on his Major League Soccer commitments with LA Galaxy.

Having been part of Capello's back-up team at the World Cup, there were suggestions that a similar role might have been found for Beckham to keep him within the camp. But Capello has confirmed he intends to make a clean break and concentrate on the youngsters at his disposal.

"No," said the Italian when asked whether Beckham could remain within the England fold. "I am changing everything and we are going forward.

"David Beckham is a fantastic man and a fantastic player. My relationship with him is really good.

"I am 100% sure he will play the next friendly game if he is fit. But we need young players and we need talented players and the players we used against Hungary are young and they have talent."

The Italian, and by definition, the Football Association, have endured a huge amount of criticism for failing to inform Beckham of the content of Capello's pre-match interview, which was recorded on Monday.

What the 64-year-old failed to mention in his apparent snub was that trusted assistant Franco Baldini had spoken with Beckham, so the 35-year-old was aware of what had been said prior to broadcast.

That knowledge probably explained why Capello reacted with incredulity when asked whether he thought his players retained faith in him after a week when his communications skills were called into question following the retirements of Paul Robinson and Wes Brown.

"I am sure about it," he said. "My relationship with the players is good. I have never had any problems and I am looking forward. We have to evaluate what happened this summer but then quickly forget."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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