England recall Beckham for Spain friendly

Updated: 08 February 2009 15:39 IST

David Beckham's successful loan move to AC Milan earned him a recall to the England squad for Wednesday's friendly against Spain.


David Beckham's successful loan move to AC Milan earned him a recall to the England squad for Wednesday's friendly against Spain.

England manager Fabio Capello named the Los Angeles Galaxy star among 23 players who will go to Seville to take on the European champion, which was on a 28-game unbeaten run.

Beckham, who says he wants a full-time move to the Italian club, has scored twice in six games since his temporary loan to Milan and Capello, who watched him play one of the matches, was convinced the former captain was fully fit and in form.

"Beckham is a very important player," Capello said. "His form is OK now. I followed him in Milan. Now he's fit. You know every player who wants to be in the squad has to play, not only training. It's important to David, it's important for us."

Since he took over as England manager 13 months ago, Capello has stressed that players have to be fully fit and playing competitive football if they are to be in his team.

Although Beckham played as a late substitute in all four World Cup qualifying victories, he was dropped for November's 2-1 victory over Germany in Berlin because Galaxy failed to qualify for the MLS playoffs and his season had effectively finished three weeks earlier.

Capello, a former Milan coach, would not be drawn on whether Beckham should stay in Italy or return to the Galaxy after his loan deal ends March 8.

"It's David's decision. I think he would like to stay at AC Milan for this season. The championship is exciting. Milan is a good team. But he has to choose. I never spoke (to him) about it.

"I don't speak about Beckham being in Los Angeles or Milan because it's not my job."

Capello was unable to select midfielder Steven Gerrard or striker Jermain Defoe because of injuries. Although Wayne Rooney is back in contention for Manchester United, he decided not to call up the striker because he has been sidelined for three weeks with a hamstring injury.

Capello has selected six players from Aston Villa, which has climbed to third in the Premier League, and has included Everton defender Phil Jagielka, who has been in standout form for his club.

West Ham striker Carlton Cole also has a place in the squad after scoring in five games in a row for the Hammers.

Capello said the injury problems means he would probably experiment with some different players and tactics against the Spaniards and he would use the maximum six substitutes allowed for friendlies.

"I think that the game against Spain will be very strong," he said. "I may try something different. There will be a lot of substitutions when we play on Wednesday. There will be six substitutions for sure.

"The most important thing for me for this game is to recover the spirit of the group and stay together to move to improve some things I saw in the last games."

"I try to help the managers but the managers have to help me. It's not a fantastic moment this game because a lot of these teams play FA Cup, Premier League this is one moment when it's possible some players will be tired."

"I think at this moment Spain possible is the best team (in the world). Technically they played at a high level. We won in Germany but the style of Germany is completely different. I am very interested in this game to understand what will happen against a team that plays a different style, like South American but with more speed."

"Always the result is important but it's also important to understand where we are now and for the future."


Goalkeepers: Robert Green (West Ham), Joe Hart (Manchester City), David James (Portsmouth).

Defenders: Wayne Bridge (Manchester City), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Glen Johnson (Portsmouth), John Terry (Chelsea), Matthew Upson (West Ham), Luke Young (Aston Villa).

Midfielders: David Beckham (Los Angeles Galaxy), Gareth Barry (Aston Villa), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Aston Villa), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Aston Villa).

Forwards: Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa), Carlton Cole (West Ham), Peter Crouch (Portsmouth), Emile Heskey (Aston Villa).

Topics : Football Bayern Munchen
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