David Beckham dismisses retirement talk

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The Independent Online

David Beckham's agent last night promised the 35-year-old "will always be available for his country", despite Fabio Capello calling time on the Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder's England career.

Beckham will seemingly play no part in England's Euro 2012 bid following Capello's frank admission.

However, his agent insists the former England captain, who has been dropped by his country before, has no intention of hanging up his boots.

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 missed the World Cup through injury but ended up being part of the backroom staff in South Africa because of the influence he has over the current group of players.

However, even when he recovers from his Achilles injury, it seems the former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder will not be required for the attempt to reach Euro 2012.

"I say thank you very much for helping me at the World Cup but probably he is a little bit old," Capello told ITV ahead of last night's 2-1 friendly win over Hungary at Wembley.

Capello revealed afterwards that Beckham could be given one more chance to pull on the Three Lions shirt, most likely against France on November 17.

"He will play one friendly to say bye bye," Capello told reporters after last night's game.

It seems a low-key end to such a high-profile career, although the manner of the announcement is in keeping with Capello's straightforward management style.

Beckham has won 115 caps, the most number for any outfield player but 10 short of Peter Shilton's overall record.

Steven Gerrard, whose two goals turned the match in England's favour against Hungary last night, does not expect Beckham to take this latest setback lying down.

He said: "I'm sure that if he hears that news, it'll 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."

Despite going public with his intention not to select Beckham, Capello admitted last night he had yet to inform the LA Galaxy midfielder of his decision.

Asked if that was the right way to deliver the news, Gerrard said: "I don't know whether Fabio Capello has spoken to David. I don't know what's happened there.

"But David can hold his head up high for the service he's given to the England team."

Should Beckham fail to add to his caps, Liverpool captain Gerrard has no doubt how he will be remembered.

"Legendary status, without a doubt," he said. "He's put a long shift in as an England player.

"He's had some fantastic performances, some fantastic goals, memories.

"He was a fantastic captain. I've learnt a lot from David and it's been a pleasure to play alongside him.

"If he has played his last game, he'll certainly be missed because, both on and off the pitch, he's a great guy."

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