Capello claims Beckham is worthy of an England recall

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The Independent Online

Fabio Capello's volte-face on the subject of David Beckham was completed yesterday when the Real Madrid coach suggested that the England manager, Steve McClaren, should follow his example and recall the Los Angeles-bound midfielder. This after Capello had initially followed McClaren's example and cast Beckham into the wilderness, only to recall him last weekend after a run of poor results. Beckham responded with a goal as Real ended their losing sequence.

"I hope for Beckham's sake that he does return as it will make him happy," Capello said. "He's always behaved like a great professional. Of course it all depends on the England coach, but he could do good things for England."

Capello said that Beckham's return to the Real Madrid first team after a month in exile had been a boost to the team. "It has had a very positive effect because of the way he played and because of the enthusiasm and seriousness he has demonstrated," Capello said. Beckham is expected to play at home to Real Betis today. Roberto Carlos returns after injury.

Real remain third, five points behind Barcelona, but will hope to capitalise on the leaders' internal dissension. Deco yesterday claimed that Barça would react positively to the row between Samuel Eto'o and both Ronaldinho and the coach, Frank Rijkaard, but admitted: "I would have preferred that it hadn't happened." Barcelona have a tricky fixture at fourth-placed Valencia tomorrow.

"We've had the problems with Samuel's comments, but in general it hasn't affected the team," the Portuguese insisted. "I'm sure that we will react well. Everything's been sorted out now." Seville, in second, meet Atletico Madrid.

The galactico Capello did shift, Ronaldo, may start for Milan in Siena today. The coach Carlo Ancelotti said that it is "probable" that the 30-year-old will do so after his lively performance as substitute last week.

Milan are now a respectable seventh in Serie A, but have just half the 60 points of the leaders Internazionale. Inter's prospects of a 16th successive league win at home to Cagliari tomorrow are enhanced by the return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Roma, 11 points adrift in second place, are at Empoli. Claudio Ranieri's hopes of a first win since returning as coach of Parma improved yesterday when it was announced that the club can reopen their Tardini stadium to the public. Sampdoria are today's visitors.

The new Lokomotiv Moscow coach, Anatoly Byshovets, has accused the Scotland international Garry O'Connor of a lack of effort, but will offer the former Hibernian striker another chance. "He has the ability to play but one also needs the heart in order to help the team," the former Russia manager said. "So far, he hasn't shown it ... but we paid a lot of money to get him and we just can't let him go. So I must give him another chance."

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