Beckham hopes to play for Capello, despite past

December 24, 2007

LONDON -- David Beckham is eager to play under new England manager Fabio Capello -- despite the stormy relationship the two shared at Real Madrid.

The 32-year-old midfielder has played 99 games for England and hopes to reach No. 100 in England's friendly against Switzerland at Wembley Stadium on Feb. 6.

"Fabio is one of the managers players look up to and want to manage them. I hope I'll be part of his plans," Beckham told BBC Radio in an interview to be broadcast on Christmas Day. Excerpts were released by the BBC on Monday.

"I think he is a great appointment for England. Everyone wants someone leading you that has respect and success. He has definitely got that in his career."

Capello dropped Beckham from Real Madrid when the former England captain announced his move to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy in Major League Soccer. But Beckham won back his place and helped Madrid win the Spanish league title last season.

"There were ups and downs with me and the manager at the time but he brought me back into the team and he had the belief in me to put me back in the team," Beckham said. "It gave me an amazing end and I was sad when he got [fired] as I believe he had turned the club and the players around and given the fans what they deserved, a trophy."

Capello, who won 14 trophies with four different clubs, was appointed manager of England's ailing team on Dec. 14.

He replaced Steve McClaren, who was fired in November when England failed to qualify for the 2008 European Championship. McClaren's first decision when he became manager in August 2006 was to drop Beckham, only to bring him back in May when England's Euro 2008 campaign was faltering.

Capello was noncommittal about Beckham's future during his first news conference on Dec. 17.

"I think Beckham, when he sets himself something, he will achieve it," Capello said then. "But I will have to make choices. I believe that Beckham is an important player for England and I will take him in serious consideration."


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press