London, Jan 31: David Beckham will be left out of Fabio Capello's first England squad, set to be announced this afternoon, putting his ambitions of winning a century of caps on hold.
Capello is reported to have called Beckham last night to break the news and the midfielder was said to be disappointed. The midfielder's lack of competitive action is thought to be behind the Italian coach's decision to drop the Los Angeles Galaxy player for the friendly with Switzerland on Feb 6 at Wembley. The 32-year-old had been training with Arsenal during Major League Soccer's winter break to keep up his fitness levels and give himself the best possible chance of being included in Capello's squad.
However, Beckham's decision to launch a new soccer Academy in
South America is not thought to have affected the decision.
Pictures of Beckham juggling a ball on a Brazilian beach were thought to have been an 'own-goal' by the player and unlikely to have convinced the no-nonsense coach of his commitment.
Capello has made a huge statement by axing the former England captain for the first match of his tenure, although he has not closed the door on a player he knows well from his Real Madrid days.
The 61-year-old could bring him back into the international fold for the forthcoming friendly with France on March 26 when Beckham will have returned to MLS action in America.
Capello's move mirrors predecessor Steve McClaren's decision to
leave Beckham out in the cold when naming the first squad of his
McClaren later succumbed to public pressure and brought Beckham back in an attempt to save their flagging Euro 2008 campaign.
Capello, however, is his own man, and despite a number of former players, managers and officials at Soho Square clamouring for Beckham to be handed his 100th cap against Switzerland, the Italian was unwilling to let sentiment affect his decision.