United legend backs Rio to be top England skipper

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David Beckham believes Rio Ferdinand has all the qualities required to be a top England captain.

Ferdinand skippered Manchester United to victory over AC Milan in the San Siro on Tuesday night, his first appearance since John Terry was sacked from the job he loved by Fabio Capello.

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"Rio is a great captain," Beckham said of his former United team-mate. "He has proved he has been a great captain when he has captained Manchester United in the past. He is a leader."

Capello has not spoken to the United defender yet and the former West Ham star cannot be entirely certain he will become skipper until England meet up ahead of their friendly with Egypt at Wembley on March 3.

But as someone who did the job with such distinction for five years, Beckham has no doubt Ferdinand will be a success.

Exactly seven days after that England game, Beckham and his team-mates must try and find a way back into their Champions League last-16 tie.

Although Clarence Seedorf's late goal has given Milan some hope, in truth they will have to win by two clear goals at Old Trafford, something that seems highly unlikely with Wayne Rooney in his present form.

Rooney took his tally for the season to 25 with a pair of second-half headers, the first reminiscent of the Lionel Messi effort that condemned United to defeat against Barcelona in last year's final.

"He is on fire," said Beckham. "I have always said he was one of the best goalscorers in the world and he is proving it week in and week out.

"If you give him chances he'll score goals, that's the way he is and the way his mind works."

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Rio Ferdinand

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