Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Capello: Beckham 'now too old'

David Beckham's international career appears to be over after Fabio Capello said he was probably too old to play for England

David Beckham has not discussed his retirement with Fabio Capello, his spokesman said, after the England manager appeared to call time on the 35-year-old's international career.

Speaking ahead of the friendly against Hungary, Capello told a TV channel: "I say thank you very much for helping me at the World Cup but probably he is a little bit old."

But Beckham's spokesman said the remarks did not necessarily mean the midfielder would never play for England again.

He said: "There has been no discussion of retirement. He will always be available for his country, when fit and if needed he will be there."

Beckham has played 115 times for England, 10 short of goalkeeper Peter Shilton's overall record.

He missed out on playing at a fourth World Cup after tearing an Achilles tendon in March during a loan spell with AC Milan from LA Galaxy. But he still went to South Africa as part of Capello's back-up team, spurring the team on - or at least trying to - from the bench.

Beckham captained his country in three major tournaments - the World Cups of 2002 and 2006, and Euro 2004. And despite tearfully handing back the armband in June 2006, he said he was still willing to continue as a player.

He was initially overlooked by Capello's predecessor, Steve McClaren, but was called back into the team almost a year into his reign. When the Italian took over, he kept faith with the midfielder.

Until his injury, Beckham played in 16 of the 21 internationals Capello was in charge of - often coming on as a late substitute.

In the match, England came back from a goal down to win 2-1 thanks to two second half strikes from captain Steven Gerrard.

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