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Aug 13, 2010

Beckham rejects Capello's farewell friendly offer

David Beckham has snubbed Fabio Capello's offer of a testimonial-style England send-off, saying he will only play for his country again if his form merits selection.

• Capello: Fans still love Rooney
• Capello offers Beckham goodbye game
• Cameron praise for Beckham

Beckham was controversially 'retired' by Capello after England's 2-1 friendly win over Hungary on Wednesday night, with the manager saying the 115-capped midfielder "knows that he has no future with the national team because we have to change".

When later asked about the Beckham situation, Capello offered him a one-off appearance at Wemlbey "to say bye bye" to fans.

Capello said in a TV interview, recorded on Monday but aired on Wednesday, that 35-year-old Beckham was a "little bit old" to feature for England again as he looks to refresh his squad. England general manager Franco Baldini called Beckham ahead of time to warn him about the Capello interview, but he reportedly told Beckham that the manager had spoken about bringing youngsters through, not that he was about to cast Beckham off.

That meant Beckham only heard Capello's true thoughts about his lack of a future England career when he saw the interview for himself, which is believed to have angered the Los Angeles Galaxy player.

Beckham is quoted as saying: "I will fight my way back into the England team. I've always said I won't retire from playing for my country. Whether I play one more game or ten more games, I'll be available."

Meanwhile, Capello said there will no further off-field role for Beckham in the England set-up, after he had acted in an ambassadorial capacity while injured during England's disappointing World Cup campaign.

"No,'' said the Italian when asked whether Beckham could remain within the England fold. "I am changing everything and we are going forward. David Beckham is a fantastic man and a fantastic player. My relationship with him is really good. I am 100% sure he will play the next friendly game if he is fit. But we need young players and we need talented players and the players we used against Hungary are young and they have talent.''

The scenario has reflected poorly on the under pressure Capello. England players Paul Robinson and Wes Brown announced their retirement from international football when called up by Capello for the Hungary friendly, further adding to speculation that the Italian manager no longer has the support of England's wider playing group.

But Capello insists the players are right behind him as he looks forward to Euro 2012: "I am sure about it. The players are the important thing. They are the ones I work with. If they believe in me we can win. When we win the fans will be with us. My relationship with the players is good. I have never had any problems and I am looking forward. We have to evaluate what happened this summer but then quickly forget. It is not easy but this is a new adventure and I have to find new players.''

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