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Sven-Goran Eriksson revealed he would have spoken personally to David Beckham if he was to end the England midfielder's international career.

Fabio Capello announced Beckham's "retirement" in an interview with ITV ahead of this week's friendly against Hungary. The England boss said that Beckham was "too old" to warrant selection for future competitive internationals. He then later said he would give the player the opportunity of a farewell match, believed to be the friendly against France at Wembley on November 17.

Eriksson, who was in charge of England between 2001 and 2006, told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek: "It's very difficult to answer. I don't know if Capello had talked to Beckham before. I hope he had, because then maybe it is okay. David Beckham deserves all the respect you can give to him. When he gets fit, he is still a very good football player."

He added: "If it is somebody with 20, 30, 40, 50 caps then yes, you have to (speak to him before dropping him). I would do it myself, I did it many times - David Seaman was one."

Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Beckham has since made it known he has no intention of hanging up his boots on the international stage, and he may not play in the France match as that would rubber-stamp Capello's plans.

The manner of the announcement has been heavily criticised in many quarters, given the reported lack of direct contact between the two men beforehand.

Capello's trusted lieutenant Franco Baldini is believed to have contacted Beckham before the television interview was broadcast to explain Capello's comments.

The Swede also revealed he has had no contact from Aston Villa over their vacant managerial role, but admits the club would be an attractive proposition.

The midlands side were rocked by Martin O'Neill's resignation as manager last week, but shrugged off the setback to open their season with a vibrant 3-0 win over West Ham on Saturday under caretaker boss Kevin MacDonald.

Eriksson said: "I have had no contact with them. I want to get back into football. It's a big club, everybody knows that, but I've had no contact. We'll see what happens.

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

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David Seaman
David Beckham
Premier League
Aston Villa

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