Capello calls time on ‘old’ Beckham’s career

England manager Fabio Capello has effectively signalled the end of former captain David Beckham’s career.


Agencies August 13, 2010

LONDON: England manager Fabio Capello has effectively signalled the end of former captain David Beckham’s international career and will hand him a farewell appearance in a friendly at the Wembley Stadium later this year.

Capello said that the Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder, England’s most capped outfield player with 115 appearances, was “probably a bit too old” to play for England again at the age of 35.

“Thank you, David,” said Capello who used the former Manchester United and Real Madrid player as part of his backroom staff at the recent World Cup. “We have to look for new young players, this evening you saw new players who can play on the right and left wings. So I hope David will be okay to come and play his last game here at Wembley in the next friendly game to come and wave bye-bye to the crowd.”

That game is expected to be announced as a friendly against France in November.

When asked if he would consider him for England’s upcoming Euro 2012 qualifiers which start next month, Capello replied, “No, no. We have to change it. David is a fantastic player, he has been really important but we need new players for the future.”

Beckham has always been adamant he would never quit international football and, shortly before Capello spoke, Beckham repeated his stance.

“I’ve always said I won’t retire from playing for my country,” said the veteran midfielder. “If I never get picked again or whether I get picked again for one more game or 10 more games I’ll be available.”

England, Argentina seal wins

England and Argentina put their World Cup traumas behind them with desperately-needed wins, while world champions Spain needed a last-minute goal to draw in Mexico and France slumped with defeat.

Steven Gerrard’s side defeated Hungary 2-1 with the captain scoring two goals, while Argentina beat Ireland 1-0. Newly-crowned world champions Spain drew 1-1 as Laurent Blanc’s reign as France coach began with a 2-1 defeat to Norway, as he fielded a side purged of its disgraced World Cup rebels.

At Wembley, Gerrard helped Fabio Capello avoid more embarrassment after Phil Jagielka had put through his own goal to give Hungary a shock lead, although there were doubts over whether or not the ball had crossed the line. Liverpool star Gerrard scored twice in four minutes to seal the win for England.

Meanwhile, Argentina, with Lionel Messi, began the post-Maradona era with a hard fought victory over Ireland. Angel Di Maria’s first half strike consigned Giovanni Trapattoni’s men to defeat in the first international game in the renamed Aviva Stadium.

France face another defeat

New France coach Laurent Blanc insisted that he was pleased with his inexperienced team, which included eight new caps, in spite of a 2-1 defeat in a friendly against Norway. Hatem Ben Arfa put France ahead shortly after half-time but two goals from Erik Huseklepp, taking advantage of French errors, took the hosts to victory.

“We always play to win so when we lose we aren’t satisfied,” said Blanc. “But we have to overlook the score this evening as I saw some interesting things. Some players produced some quality which will help us in the future. I was pleased with the game. We tried to create something playing with the ball on the ground.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 13th, 2010.

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