Icon Hoddle backs Becks

Former England manager Glenn Hoddle believes there is no reason why David Beckham should not continue playing for his country for "a long time to come".

Former England manager Glenn Hoddle believes there is no reason why David Beckham should not continue playing for his country for "a long time to come".

Beckham, 32, was recalled to face Brazil and is set to start Wednesday's Euro 2008 qualifier in Estonia.

He is now poised to join LA Galaxy in the United States but Hoddle told BBC Five Live: "I think he could be back to stay, whatever happens in America.

"If he keeps himself fit and plays well he could stay in the team a long time."

"Will playing in America have an adverse effect on my England chances? I hope not. Physically I will be fine," said Beckham

Hoddle added: "David is a fit young man and he has never relied on blistering pace, so he could play until he is 38 or 39 - if he has still got that burning desire.

"In my day, when you hit the 30 mark people were thinking your international career was almost over, but the way these guys train and the habits they get into are much better.

"We all know that the standard of football in America is not going to be that good and if he was only 26 that would be a major problem. But David is 32 and has masses of experience and international football might suit him better than the Premiership or La Liga because of the slower tempo."

Hoddle gave Beckham his first England cap against Moldova in September 1996 and he says Steve McClaren's decision to recall Beckham after 11 months in the wilderness against Brazil on Friday was the obvious decision. - BBC

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