David Beckham has been left out of Fabio Capello’s first England squad to play Switzerland on 6 February.
The omission means that Beckham could be left strabnded on 99 caps, although Capello has not fully closed the door on the 32-year-old former captain.
The England manager spoke to the midfielder and told him he wanted his players to be match-fit, and that naming Beckham in his squad to face Switzerland next week would be unfair on those who have been playing regularly.
In the phonecall, Capello told Beckham he was still part of his plans and that there was no reason why he will not pick him again as long as he is fit enough and performing well for the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Beckham will now have to wait to join Peter Shilton, Bobby Moore, Sir Bobby Charlton and Billy Wright in the exclusive club of players with 100 caps.
With John Terry expected to miss the friendly match through injury, Capello also has to decide on a new captain.
“There are many things I have to evaluate and I must come up with a choice that is right,” said the Italian.
“A captain must be a leader, someone who carries the team, somebody that in every moment is important for the team.”