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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr 25, 2008

Beckham could play at World Cup, says Capello

England manager Fabio Capello believes David Beckham can play on until the 2010 World Cup if the midfielder takes care of his fitness.

In an interview with Spanish sports newspaper Marca, Capello was asked if Beckham's England career was close to an end after the midfielder won his 100th cap against France last month.

'It's still open,' the Italian replied.

'He (Beckham) played in the last game, he did well against France, and I sometimes go to see him in Los Angeles.'

However, Capello added that the midfielder's participation at the showpiece in South Africa will rest on his fitness as well as England's qualification.

He said: 'It depends, there are players who at 33 or 34 take good care of themselves, they understand that the body is not as it was and they take more care. It depends a lot on that.'

The former Juventus, AC Milan and Real Madrid coach also revealed he is still adapting to the role of national team coach.

'It's all new for me. I was used to working daily with clubs and now it's different,' he said.

'The job is very different from that of a club coach. At the moment I have only had the opportunity to train for five days. Only five days.

'I think I am becoming more integrated every day. I need some time, like in all jobs.

'I read a lot, I travel a lot and I see a lot of football. A couple of weeks ago I saw three games in a weekend - one at Tottenham, one in Liverpool and one in Manchester.'

The Italian revealed his English is now at a competent level, although he will not be speaking to the press in the language for the time being.

He is worried about being misinterpreted, as happened in Spain two years ago when he mistakenly labelled Liverpool striker Fernando Torres, then with Atletico Madrid, a `tramposo' - which translates as cheat.

'I can speak English, but I don't want to speak English with the press, because if you get a word wrong it can make big headlines,' he explained.

'That happened to me in Spain after a Real Madrid-Atletico match, when I wanted to refer to Torres and asked the Madrid press officer how to say something and he replied `tramposo'.

'That wasn't exactly what I wanted to say and it caused a tremendous scandal.'

Capello believes the Premier League is the pick of all the domestic competitions in Europe, although he admits the influx of foreign players represents a problem for the national side

'Some really good football is being played in England. At the moment it is the best league (in Europe), but then you have Arsenal, who play fantastic football and are out of the Champions League,' he said.

'Our problem is that we have only 38% of the players. There are Welsh players, Irish and Scots.

'In Spain and Italy, for example, 70% of the players can be called up.'

The 61-year-old insists he is not thinking of winning the World Cup at the moment.

He said: 'I think we have a good team, but we have to work a little so that everyone understands what I want. We are not thinking about that (the World Cup) at the moment, we have to go step by step.'

Capello nevertheless claims he is happy with his team's progress and hopes to have his best players available for the upcoming friendly matches against the Uniteds States and Trinidad and Tobago.

'I told the players after the defeat against France that I was happy because I had seen them take a step forward.

'Now we have two friendlies, we'll have to see if I have all of my players available.'

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