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    Beckham recalled in England squad

    London: Former captain David Beckham was recalled to England's squad on Saturday for next week's friendly with Brazil and the Euro 2008 qualifier in Estonia on June 6.

    It is the first time the Real Madrid midfielder has been included in the squad since coach Steve McClaren took over from Sven Goran Eriksson after last year's World Cup.

    "I feel that at the present moment to beat Estonia we need experience," McClaren told Sky Sports. "David certainly provides that and he's in very, very good form. I think he can help us win in Estonia and that's why I picked him."

    "He was absolutely delighted as I knew he would be," added the England coach. "He has been a real professional throughout. He's coming into form and deserved to be in."

    McClaren named a 26-man squad which also includes striker Michael Owen for the first time since he sustained a serious knee injury on England duty in the World Cup in Germany.

    Blackburn Rovers wide midfielder David Bentley and Reading left back Nicky Shorey have also been named for the first time after impressive displays in Friday's 3-1 victory in a B international against Albania in which Owen also played.

    Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole, who has only recently returned to action after an injury-hit season, rejoins the squad after a long period away from the international scene.

    New Signings

    "They feel like new signings - David coming back in, Michael Owen, Alan Smith, Joe Cole - and they will be a lift for everybody," said McClaren. "I'm excited about this squad coming together and preparing for what will be a big game at Wembley against Brazil."

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    England play the Brazilians next Friday in their first international at the new Wembley stadium before visiting Estonia for their key Euro 2008 qualifying match.

    England are fourth in Group E two points behind leaders Croatia, who have a game in hand, and level on 11 points with Israel and Russia. Estonia have yet to pick up a point.

    Asked if recalling Beckham was a backward step, McClaren said: "Well obviously some would argue that but at the end of the day it's my decision, the decision I think is best for England which is to produce a winning team and produce a team the fans can be proud of. That's why I picked him."

    Regarding whether Beckham would now be a permanent fixture in the squad, McClaren added: "Obviously that's in the future. You do plan long term but you've got to win in the short (term). We're concentrating on the next 10 days."

    Squad: Goalkeepers: Paul Robinson (Tottenham Hotspur), Scott Carson (Liverpool), Robert Green (West Ham United); Defenders: Phil Neville (Everton), Rio Ferdinand, Wes Brown (both Manchester United), John Terry, Wayne Bridge (both Chelsea), Jamie Carragher (Liverpool), Michael Dawson, Ledley King (both Tottenham Hotspur), Nicky Shorey (Reading) Midfielders: David Beckham (Real Madrid), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Jermaine Jenas, Aaron Lennon (both Tottenham Hotspur), Frank Lampard, Joe Cole (both Chelsea), David Bentley (Blackburn Rovers), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough), Kieron Dyer (Newcastle United) Strikers: Peter Crouch (Liverpool), Michael Owen (Newcastle United), Alan Smith (Manchester United), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur).