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The Toe Poke
By ESPN Staff

Beckham: Captaincy candidates all top class

David Beckham believes Fabio Capello faces a difficult choice in deciding who will be his long-term England captain, and insisted: 'We've got players throughout the team who could do the job.'

Capello has given the armband to Steven Gerrard, Rio Ferdinand and John Terry during his three matches at the helm and is likely to make another change for Sunday's friendly away to Trinidad and Tobago.

Aston Villa midfielder Gareth Barry is a strong contender to take on the mantle in the Caribbean before Capello decides who will lead the side for the 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign.

But former skipper Beckham believes none of the candidates would be out of place if they get the thumbs-up from Capello.

The Los Angeles Galaxy player said: 'It is not right for me to say who I think should be captain because we've got players all the way through the team that could be the captain.

'I think Rio Ferdinand has done a great job, Stevie G (Gerrard) has done a great job and obviously JT (Terry). They are all quality captains and all have got the chance of being a captain.

'You have to be a strong character to be a captain of not just your club team but your country - and everyone of those players has a strong character and is passionate about playing for their country.

'When you see them play, everyone can see what it means to them. If you show that kind of passion, you've got every chance of being a great captain.'

Beckham does not feel swapping captains every game has an unsettling effect on the side.

He said: 'I don't think that is the case. That is the way the manager wants to deal with it and we all respect him for that.'

Beckham insisted it is no hardship for players to turn out in friendly internationals at the end of a lengthy season as he reiterated his desire to continue playing for England.

And he believes the players are coming to terms with what Capello demands of them.

Beckham, who won his 101st cap against the United States on Wednesday, said: 'I am enjoying each game. I want to carry on playing for my country.

'Things can change very quickly but the manager has already said if I stay fit and I am performing, then I've got a chance to be in the squad.

'Is motivation for friendlies difficult? No. You wear the England shirt. That is enough motivation for any player and that is one of the things the manager said before the USA game, that he wanted a real English performance, a fighting performance.'

Beckham, who played under Capello at Real Madrid, added: 'The players are learning the manager is very strict and very serious and when you train, you train hard, and when you play, you play hard and when you are with the England team, you concentrate and wear that shirt with pride.

'The players know what he wants and are trying to make him happy and at the moment we are working hard and winning games. There is still a lot to learn and a lot of hard work to do but we are happy at the moment.'


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