BECKham out of world cup

LONDON - England manager Fabio Capello confirmed yesterday that David Beckham is expected to miss the World Cup after rupturing an Achilles tendon.

LONDON - England manager Fabio Capello confirmed yesterday that David Beckham is expected to miss the World Cup after rupturing an Achilles tendon.

The 34-year-old former England captain was hurt in AC Milan's 1-0 Serie A win over Chievo at the San Siro on Sunday night, twisting his left ankle in the final minutes of the match.

Capello said he had spoken to the midfielder and it was now likely he would miss the showpiece event in South Africa from June 11.

"We have to wait for the results of the scan, but it looks like he is out of the World Cup," said Capello.

Beckham pulled up in pain during Milan's Serie A game without coming into contact with anyone else and limped distraught to the sidelines for treatment.

The multimillionaire will be operated on at the sports injury clinic of Mehilaeinen Hospital in Turku, Finland, orthopedic surgeon Sakari Orava told AFP.

Beckham was desperate to feature in Capello's England squad for South Africa and play in a fourth World Cup finals. The LA Galaxy player had admitted earlier on Sunday that he was far from certain to win a place in England's World Cup squad. He joined AC Milan on loan in January in an attempt to convince Capello he could still make an impact at the highest level but he has been left on the bench several times during his spell at the San Siro.

Beckham is England's most capped outfield player with 115 caps. The injury could be the final twist in his football career but former Manchester United teammate Andy Cole said the free-kick specialist would not want to retire in such circumstances. - Sapa-AFP

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