Beckham set for century of caps

England manager Fabio Capello has brought David Beckham back into his team and it’s nothing to do with the star reaching 100 appearances.

He believes that the Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder might well be wearing the same white shirt at the 2010 World Cup.

”The David Beckham I know can certainly last and get to 2010 if he carries on training and working hard,” said Capello, who has recalled Beckham for Wednesday’s friendly against France.

”I know David Beckham and what he can give me, and I think he can make the difference in some respects. I know what he can give to a team. As for the future, we will have to see. Nobody knows what the future holds.”

Headed for his 33rd birthday in May, Beckham knows his time as an England player has to be running out after more than a decade. But the fact that Capello is happy to recall him and then talk about the star playing in his fourth World Cup gives the Galaxy player plenty of hope for the future.

”I’ve managed him previously and he’s always been a very good professional,” said Capello, who still speaks in Italian even though it’s clear he understands questions in English. ”Only people who are so professional can last and be at the top for so long.”

The manager who has guided Italian clubs AC Milan, AS Roma, Juventus and Spain’s Real Madrid to multiple titles had Beckham on his squad last season in the Spanish league.

Capello dropped Beckham in mid-season when the England midfielder announced his move to Major League Soccer. But Beckham’s reaction to being dropped was to train even harder than usual and, when Capello recalled him, the player was a major force in Madrid staging a strong charge in the second half of the season to capture the Spanish league title.

Beckham also was dropped by Steve McClaren, the manager Capello replaced when England failed to qualify for this summer’s European Championship.

But McClaren couldn’t leave him out either and Beckham returned to set up goals for England with his expertly aimed crosses and passes.

He was left on 99 appearances when England failed to qualify for Euro 2008 and there was the danger he might finish there when Capello left him out of his first game in charge against Switzerland in February.

But the Italian stated Beckham was overlooked solely because the American season had long finished and he was not playing at the time, even though he was training in England with Arsenal.

Now back playing pre-season with the Galaxy, Beckham has shown Capello he is fit enough to play for his country, even if he only comes off the bench against France.

”He will play a part,” Capello told reporters at England’s team hotel in downtown Paris on Tuesday.

”It would have been very cruel of me to make him come all the way from the US and not play him.” — Sapa-AP

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