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Thursday, January 31, 2013
Roy Hodgson is not expecting David Beckham’s high-profile move to Paris St Germain will herald a return to the England fold.
After quitting the Los Angeles Galaxy in November, Beckham has now returned to Europe and today joined the cash-rich PSG bandwagon under Carlo Ancelotti.
Immediately questions were raised about the potential for Beckham, who won the last of his 115 England caps in 2009, returning to the international arena.
It seems a fanciful notion given Hodgson has never selected Beckham and has already turned his back on Rio Ferdinand, who at 34 is three years his former Manchester United team-mate’s junior.
And whilst the Three Lions boss did not categorically rule it out, it is clear Hodgson is not anticipating having to select Beckham at any point in the future.
“When did he last play for the national team?” said Hodgson.
“I don’t think he has been plotting a return to the national team.
“I have spoken to him on a number of occasions. Maybe at some point he will pull me aside and tell me not to forget him even though he has not played for so long.
“I am not really prepared for that.
“David made up his mind a while ago what he wanted to do with his life.”
Hodgson did concede the move to PSG was “fantastic” for Beckham, and it is clear he holds the midfielder in high regard.
“David is a footballing icon, not only in this country but all over the world,” he said.
“He is one of the most recognisable footballers anywhere.
“We are perfectly aware of who he is, what he is and what he has done. All I can do is wish him all the best.
“Let’s hope he can be as big a success at PSG as he has been everywhere else.”
Beckham’s public image is in marked contrast to that of Ashley Cole, who on Wednesday will join him in the exclusive ‘100 club’ by becoming its seventh member when he turns out in Wednesday’s Wembley friendly against Brazil.
It is difficult for anyone to separate Cole’s brilliance as a footballer with the number of ill-advised scrapes he has managed to get into.
Yet Hodgson prefers to judge the Chelsea man over his own nine-month tenure as England boss.
And he has no problem offering a glowing tribute to the 32-year-old.
“Reaching 100 matches is an incredible milestone. He deserves an enormous pat on the back,” said Hodgson.
“He has been a pleasure to work with and a really good professional.
“He is a two-club man and not a player that has flitted from club to club to get a slightly better contract.
“He has dedicated his time to Arsenal and then Chelsea.
“Reputations are forged in different ways I suppose. I judge people on how I find them.
“He is a very serious footballer and a very nice person to deal with on the footballing front.
“He is a shy person. He prefers his football to do the talking and is quite happy for people to judge him on that basis.
“Unfortunately the profile players have these days means they will be judged in other areas. That doesn’t affect me and hopefully it won’t affect him on Wednesday.
“I am expecting people to give him the credit he deserves.”
Cole’s landmark follows on from that of Steven Gerrard’s in November.
And Hodgson believes another member of his squad, Frank Lampard, will reach three figures too.
Lampard currently has 93 caps to his name but his future at club level is to be decided as it seems Chelsea will not offer him a new contract.
On recent performances though, Lampard will be a man in demand.
And Hodgson expects the midfielder to become England’s eighth centurion at some point in the future.
“There is no reason why not,” he said.
“Frank has been a consistent performer for club and country.
“He has a great footballing brain and we missed him during the Euros and a couple of games since.
“If he stays as fit as he is at the moment - his levels have not deteriorated for many years - what is to stop him playing those remaining seven matches?”