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Engand coach Capello invites David Beckham to World Cup

David Beckham is England's most capped outfield player with 115 caps
David Beckham is England's most capped outfield player with 115 caps

England coach Fabio Capello has invited David Beckham to join the England squad at the World Cup in South Africa, despite the midfielder's ankle injury.

"We have asked Beckham to come to South Africa with us," Capello told Gol TV.

"It depends on him and how his tendon injury is," continued the Italian. "It's obvious he won't be able to play because we have to wait six months."

Beckham had surgery in Finland on Monday but the former England captain, 34, will not be fit for South Africa.

Capello also said there was still time for Manchester City full-back Wayne Bridge to rethink his decision to make himself unavailable for England.

"He has time," said Capello. "The situation was very heated."


Last month Bridge said his presence in the squad was potentially "divisive" following newspaper allegations about a relationship between his former partner Vanessa Perroncel and Chelsea defender John Terry.

Beckham, who is in his second loan stint with AC Milan from his Major League Soccer club, was injured in the 87th minute of Milan's 1-0 win over Chievo on Sunday.

England and Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick says that Beckham's presence within the World Cup party would be welcomed by the squad.

"I think the manager has invited him along in some capacity and however he comes along I'm sure for the lads in the squad it will be good to see him," he said.

Debut: v Moldova (1/9/1996) - won 3-0
Last game: v Belarus (14/10/2009) - won 3-0
Caps: 115
Goals: 17
Won: 68
Drawn: 26
Lost: 21

"It will give the lads a big boost because he's just got that presence, and great players have that. He's got that all-round presence that people respond to."

Beckham, England's most capped outfield player with 115 appearances, had been bidding to become the first England player to feature in four successive World Cup finals.

Beckham shares the record of playing in three finals with Billy Wright, Bobby Moore, Peter Shilton and Michael Owen.

see also
Beckham leaves Finnish hospital
17 Mar 10 |  Football
Beckham targets comeback after op
16 Mar 10 |  Football
Lineker plays down Beckham loss
15 Mar 10 |  Football
Q&A: Torn Achilles tendon
15 Mar 10 |  Health

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