England coach Fabio Capello has revealed David Beckham will definitely be in his 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ squad if he remains fit during his second loan spell at AC Milan. The 34-year-old has returned to I Rossoneri until the end of the season in a bid to retain his Three Lions place and add to his 115 caps - an England record for an outfield player.
And Capello has insisted that if the Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder impresses as much as he did during his first loan spell last year, then he will be on the plane to South Africa.
"Of course, if he plays well and is fit I will include him in my squad," Capello told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "I don't look at age, I pay attention to quality and David has a lot. He's serious, he's a great professional and he's crazy about the World Cup."
It came as something of a surprise when Beckham moved on loan to Milan last season initially until March. But the former England captain impressed so much the deal was extended until the end of the campaign.
And Capello is confident Beckham will once again shine in Serie A. "He will again do good for Milan because he has the right head on his shoulders," said the Italian.
Beckham arrived in Milan yesterday in time for today's first training session after the winter break. The 34-year-old is seeking selection for the game at home to Genoa on 6 January.
At home in England
Capello is widely regarded as one of the best coaches in the world, and has transformed England from a side who could not qualify for UEFA EURO 2008 into one of the favourites for South Africa 2010. The 63-year-old is one of four Italian tacticians working in England - the others being Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea, West Ham United's Gianfranco Zola and the Premier League's latest recruit, Manchester City's Roberto Mancini.
And Capello is delighted to see his compatriots doing so well. "It's made in Italy," he said. "I am happy for them, it's a good reason to be proud of our football. We bring ideas and a desire for new things, experiences.
"You have to adjust yourself abroad, understand where you are, what they want from you. I don't believe the choice is only down to money, but also to the desire for something new and to work in a different context."
Capello is enjoying life in England and the 63-year-old has admitted it would be difficult for him to return to his home country. "I feel happy in England," he continued. "The Premier League is the most interesting and fascinating league in the world.
"There are particular aromas. Full stadiums, beauty. Take Newcastle: they were relegated and applauded. Now they are in the (Championship) and around 50,000 people go see them.
"Our climate - that is to say the Italian one - is different, resentful, nasty. We always make the same mistakes. We don't improve, we don't move forwards, we don't solve the problems. This makes me feel bad."