Fabio Capello has effectively brought the curtain down on David Beckham’s England career, admitting the 35-year-old is too old for the Euro 2012 qualifiers.
Beckham, who missed the World Cup through injury, has indicated he would like to continue playing for England, but Capello has revealed the LA Galaxy midfielder is probably surplus to requirements for his country.
“I say thank you very much for helping me at the World Cup but probably he is a little bit old,” Capello said ahead of Wednesday’s friendly with Hungary at Wembley. “David is a fantastic player but I think we need new players for the future.”
“If he is fit, I hope we will play one more game here at Wembley so the fans can say goodbye.”
Beckham’s agent has dismissed the prospect of the 35-year-old announcing his retirement in the wake of Capello’s admission.
A 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.”
Beckham has won 115 caps for England since making his debut in 1996 against Moldova.
Beckham is the country’s most capped outfield player, but Capello’s decision means he will not break Peter Shilton’s appearance record.
His final international appearance was against Belarus at Wembley last October. He scored 17 goals for England.
Current England captain, Steven Gerrard, tipped Beckham to work hard to force himself back into Capello’s thinking.
“I’m sure that if he hears that news, it will 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,” he said.
Reflecting on his former team-mate’s international career, Gerrard said Beckham had earned “legendary status” among supporters.
“He’s put a long shift in as an England player,” he stated. “He’s had some fantastic performances, some fantastic goals, memories. I’ve learnt a lot from David and it’s been a pleasure to play alongside him.”