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Capello: Beckham will play one last time

England manager Fabio Capello will give David Beckham one final chance to play for his country after calling time on the veteran's international career.

Capello on Beckham

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The 35-year-old, who is currently England's most-capped outfield player with 115 appearances, missed the World Cup through injury but ended up being part of the back-up team in South Africa because of the influence he has over the current group of players.

However, even when he recovers from his Achilles injury, it seems Beckham will not be required for the attempt to reach Euro 2012. But he will be given a chance to say goodbye to the fans, possibly the clash with France in November.

Capello said: "I hope when David is okay he can play here the last game at Wembley in a friendly to say goodbye and thank you very much to the crowd. I won't be picking him for any more competitive matches.

"David is a fantastic player, he was really important, but we have to see the new players for the future because the age is important for a lot of people, not only for David.

"Did I phone him before I went on television? No. I think I will speak with him. We tried to speak with him. But I think David knows he has no future with the international team because we have to change. We tried to speak with him.''

Beckham's agent reacted to the news by sending BBC Sport a statement which dismissed the prospect of the 35-year-old announcing his retirement in the wake of Capello's frank admission.

The statement read: "For your info, there has been no discussion of retirement. He will always be available for his country, when fit and if needed he will be there.''

Steven Gerrard backed Beckham to keep fighting to add to his caps and does not think the former England skipper will take this latest setback lying down.

He said: "I'm sure that if he hears that news, it'll drive him on and he'll try to prove people wrong and try to get back in the set-up because I know he loves playing for England. David can hold his head up high for the service he's given to the England team."

Should Beckham fail to add to his caps, Liverpool captain Gerrard has no doubt how he will be remembered.

"Legendary status, without a doubt," he said. "He's put a long shift in as an England player. He's had some fantastic performances, some fantastic goals, memories.

"He was a fantastic captain. I've learnt a lot from David and it's been a pleasure to play alongside him. If he has played his last game, he'll certainly be missed because, both on and off the pitch, he's a great guy."

Fellow midfielder Gareth Barry hopes Beckham adds to his caps. He said of Capello's decision: "I'm not sure what David's feelings towards that is.

"Hopefully, that won't be the end. He'll keep fighting. I know he'll probably want to. Everyone knows what an icon and a legend he is."


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