Despite being pleased to see David Beckham making good progress in his recovery from his Achilles’ injury, England coach Fabio Capello is no closer to recalling the veteran midfielder.
Capello had originally hoped to use Wednesday’s friendly against France as a chance for Beckham to draw an end to his England career, after saying that the 35-year-old former captain was too old now for a greater role.
But Beckham rejected that opportunity, while maintaining that he would never retire from international football. And Capello backtracked on his previous announcement to say that the Los Angeles Galaxy player would always be considered for selection.
But while Beckham is virtually clear of his Achilles’ tendon injury, he won’t be getting a chance to extend the appearance record for an England outfield player to 116 caps on Wednesday.
Instead, Beckham is aiming for a second successive Major League Soccer championship game – the MLS Cup – on Nov. 21. The Galaxy plays FC Dallas in the Western Conference finals on Sunday.
"I watched a game that he played – he is getting better," Capello said. "I am really happy with him."
Despite not playing at a fourth World Cup, Beckham went to South Africa in June as part of Capello’s backroom staff.
"During the World Cup he trained really hard every day," Capello told a briefing. "This period was really important for him because the Achilles’ tendon needs a lot of work and a lot of training. The physio did a really good job.
"You know the door is open for all the players. He has said at this moment he is focused on the games he has to play for LA Galaxy."
But Capello’s focus is selecting younger players for qualifying for the 2012 European Championship.
And Beckham won’t be going on loan to a European team in January like he did with AC Milan the last two years to keep fit during the MLS offseason.