/ 25 April 2008

Capello: Beckham could play at 2010 World Cup

David Beckham could play for England at the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa if he looks after himself, coach Fabio Capello has said.

”The door is open. He played the last game, and did well against France. I see him play for Los Angeles Galaxy every now and then,” the Italian told sports daily Marca on Friday.

”It depends. There are players who are 33 or 34, who look after themselves very well. They understand that physically they aren’t what they used to be and take more care. A lot depends on this.”

However, the former Real Madrid boss refused to make any predictions before the start of England’s World Cup qualification campaign in September.

Capello said he was settling well in England and felt the side had made progress despite only five days training together and last month’s 1-0 friendly defeat to France.

”I told the players after the France defeat that I was pleased and that I had seen a step forward. We have to take it step by step,” he said.

”First we have to qualify [for 2010] and then we’ll see what happens. I think I have a good team, although we need to work a little so that they all understand what I want.”

With England’s players having to watch Euro 2008 on television despite having three teams in the Champions League semifinals, Capello was asked if the Premier League’s success in luring players from overseas was hurting the national team.

”This isn’t the problem. The problem is that we only have 38% of the players,” Capello said. ”There are Welsh, Scottish, Irish … In Spain and Italy for example, they have around 70% of the players available. — Reuters