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Beckham wants to help coach England at World Cup

ZURICH (AP) — David Beckham hopes to accept England coach Fabio Capello's request to work with the World Cup squad in South Africa.

Beckham said Friday he needs to make progress with therapy on his injured Achilles' tendon, but the coaching offer is "a huge boost."

"I'm honored that a manager of his status and his experience feels that I'd be important," Beckham said.

Beckham said he spoke with Capello and assistant coach Franco Baldini but did not discuss a specific job.

"They feel that I have a role to play with the players and with the team," the former England captain said.

Beckham played 115 times for England — a record for an outfield player — but was ruled out of appearing at his fourth straight World Cup when he tore his left Achilles' tendon playing for AC Milan in March. He joined the Italian club on loan to maintain his fitness for the tournament, which kicks off June 11.

The Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder spoke after leading England's campaign to host the 2018 World Cup as it presented its bid book to FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

Beckham said his injury let him devote more time to his role as a vice president of his home country's bid.

"To represent them off the field is something new, and something special and something I'm enjoying," he said.

Though England is competing to host either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup, Blatter hinted that "the motherland of football" should focus on the 2018 event, which is expected to be awarded to Europe.

Beckham did not rule out that he could eventually lend his support to the United States' bid for 2022 before the FIFA vote on Dec. 2.

"I'm here obviously today to support (England's) bid for 2018," Beckham said. "Going forward, we'll see what happens."