Pele praises centurion Beckham

Football great Pele has said David Beckham fully deserves to win his 100th England cap in Wednesday's friendly international in Paris.

The Brazil legend, three times a FIFA World Cup-winner and widely regarded as football's greatest player, added the former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder had been a fine ambassador for the sport on and off the field.

"When we talk about great players, it's not easy to get a player who is a great on the field and an example off the field," said Pele.

"You (England) have a lot of good players, excellent players. But I look at his behaviour; I look at his performance on the field. That is the example for the youngsters."

Asked if former England captain Beckham, who now plays for United States club LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer, was still good enough to appear in international football, Pele said: "In his position - of course. He, for me, is always selected for my team - because he is a very intelligent player.

"A lot of people make the mistake (of criticising Beckham) because they think Beckham is a scorer, a striker," added Pele, who also ended his club career in the USA, with the New York Cosmos. "But no, he is a player who assists and who works hard for the team in midfield."