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Sunday 19 November 2017

Beckham turns down 'farewell' match

Sam Wallace

FABIO CAPELLO'S chaotic announcement that he was ending David Beckham's international career hit further problems yesterday when the former England captain made it quite clear through his representatives that he did not want a 'farewell' game at Wembley.

Capello made the informal offer to Beckham after the Hungary game on Wednesday as it became clear that he had jumped the gun on announcing the end of Beckham's 115-cap, 14-year international career.

However, that just created more problems when Beckham announced that he had no intention of agreeing to being retired by Capello.

Sources close to the 35-year-old said yesterday that if the English FA announced that Beckham was to be called into the squad specifically for a farewell game he would resist.

There will be an announcement this week from the FA that England will play a friendly against France on November 17, but there will be no attempts by the governing body to market it as the 'Beckham farewell'.

The FA is hoping that Capello's off-the-cuff announcement about Beckham -- which was an attempt to be diplomatic about the player -- will quietly be forgotten.

Capello has now realised that his casual remark in a pre-recorded ITV interview broadcast before the match has caused unnecessary problems that were only exacerbated by the offer of a farewell game.

Beckham has been told by specialists that he should be fit to play by the start of October after rupturing his Achilles tendon. The player thinks that he can return before that.

Either way, it is unlikely that Beckham will be released by Los Angeles Galaxy for the November game against France because it clashes with potential play-off games in the MLS season.

On Wednesday night, Capello ruled out the possibility that Beckham could fulfil the role of the still-yet-to-be-selected English coach whom the FA want its Italian manager to bring into his staff and groom as a possible successor. Beckham was part of the England staff during the World Cup.

Capello said: "This is not a question for me. For me he is a fantastic man and a fantastic player. The relationship with him is really good. No (Beckham will not come back). I change everything and we are going forward. You need young players."

Irish Independent

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