England coach Fabio Capello shocked the sporting world last night by vowing to select AC Milan midfielder David Beckham for this summer’s World Cup Finals in South Africa – despite the fact that he had appeared to have been ruled out of the tournament by serious injury.
Upon hearing the news that Beckham had successfully undergone surgery on his Achilles tendon, Capello last night insisted: “Well, that’s good news. But, to be completely honest it doesn’t change my plans for the World Cup even slightly, and I’m still going to select him.”
When pressed on the sanity of selecting a player who might not even be able to run for another month, let alone play football at the highest level, Capello shrugged.
“Look, these are all perfectly valid points. But what else do you expect me to do? Select Shaun Wright-Phillips? That’ll be the day. Even on crutches and with one functional leg, Beckham can still be trusted to put in a better stint over 90 minutes, and has the added advantage of not needing a special pair of steps to help him reach the top shelf of his locker.
“But at the same time, I think everyone needs to understand that Beckham’s presence in the squad was never going to stand or fall on his footballing ability alone. No, I really just want him there to look adorable in the team photograph and pass on fashion tips to the players. Didn’t you know that I’m Italian?”
Beckham, 35, tore his Achilles tendon on Sunday night whilst playing for Milan against Chievo, and it had been thought that the injury was going to rule him out for up to five months. The England midfielder was keen to outline his manager’s plans for him, however, in a statement to the press this morning.
“Mr Capello wants me to, y’know, come on the pitch whenever there are set pieces and swing around my crutches until I make enough contact with the ball to get it into the box. He said it was, y’know, the same principle as table football. Y’know.”
A spokesperson from the FA was far too depressed to offer any comment on the story, and when questioned, could only be heard to emit a low, gentle, sobbing noise.