Veteran midfielder David Beckham has confirmed that he hopes to be playing a much more active role in England’s World Cup campaign than just travelling to South Africa in a ‘mascot’ capacity.
Beckham, who saw his hopes of playing in this summer’s World Cup ended by a ruptured achilles tendon sustained in March, has revealed that he has discussed the possibility of joining England manager Fabio Capello’s coaching staff for the duration of the tournament – if he manages to fully convalesce from his injury on schedule.
Speaking at the presentation of England’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup, the 35-year-old told the press;
“I’ve spoken to the manager and [assistant manager] Franco Baldini and they have made it well aware that I have a role to play with the players and the team. We have not discussed specifics but I’m honoured that a manager of Fabio’s status feels I can be important.”
“I am hoping to travel with the team but obviously we’ll have to see how my therapy goes.”
It was initially thought that, should Beckham be offered a position by Capello, he would be acting primarily as an intermediary between manager and players. However, it now seems that the England management are keen to get their former captain involved with assisting on the training ground.
Beckham commands a lot of respect from both within the England squad and from the world of football at large, and his inclusion within the back-room staff can only serve to bolster England’s World Cup effort.
There are fears that Beckham’s involvment will attract the kind of publicity and media-presence that Fabio Capello has worked so actively to avoid during his side’s preparation for the tournament, but the Italian’s judgement has proven to be sound during his reign so far and therefore he has earned the right to be trusted.
For the England squad to train with their inspirational former captain – a man that always gave 110% with the three lions on his chest – can only serve to instill passion within the ranks.
This appointment could yet prove to be the fitting end to Beckham’s international career that we all thought he’d been so cruelly robbed of just three months ago.