Capello creating role for Beckham

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The Independent Football

Fabio Capello is convinced David Beckham has a major role to play as a World Cup cheerleader.

Beckham has been ruled out of England's bid for glory in South Africa this summer with an Achilles injury.

Yet such is the impression the 35-year-old has made on the England coach that Capello wants him around anyway, bringing his very own patriotism to their Rustenburg base camp.

"Beckham is an example for everyone else," said Capello.

"There were so many times when he could have gone on holiday but he preferred to be with us.

"He is dedicated to the England team and to the 2018 World Cup bid."

However, Capello insists his intention for Beckham has nothing to do with coaching, either the squad as a whole, or individual components within it.

"David Beckham will not be on my coaching staff. Absolutely not," said Capello.

"He will stay with us and he can help us during the World Cup.

"But there will be no coaching. You have to respect the other coaches."

Beckham will not be involved tonight when England take on Mexico in their final match on home soil before Capello announces his 23-man squad on June 1.

The Chelsea quartet will all miss out tonight, along with Portsmouth's David James, which, if a little frustrating for Joe Cole in particular, at least spares them another outing on the troublesome Wembley pitch.

John Terry lambasted the surface presented for the FA Cup final and feels it is time all the non-football related activity was scrapped.

It is an opinion new England skipper Rio Ferdinand concurs with.

"It is a football stadium. That is what it was built as," Ferdinand said.

"If there are things going on there that make it a bad pitch to play on and hinders the spectacle of a football match, a decision needs to be made."

The Wembley authorities are assessing the matter, although scrapping additional events is unlikely to be one of the solutions being considered to solve a very complex problem.

"We fully understand the players' desire to play on as good a surface as they are used to and one befitting of our excellent national stadium," said an FA spokesman.

"Wembley and the FA are working with a number of pitch experts to resolve the problems encountered.

"Due to the growing conditions in the stadium - due to light and air circulation we have encountered difficulties, but we are determined to get it right."

Mexico suffered a delay to their journey to England after trouble with their chartered flight.

A bird had crashed into an engine of the plane due to carry the team to London, causing damage and requiring the airline to carry out checks on the aircraft which led to a delay.

Mexico had been preparing for the clash at a training base in Germany, and were due to fly out of Nuremberg before training in London yesterday afternoon.

That training session was cancelled as the team awaited news of when they could make the trip, and they eventually arrived in London at around 9pm after being held up for three hours.