Soccer Star David Beckham Makes TV Appeal for Missing British Girl

Soccer star David Beckham made a televised appeal to the public Friday to help find a 3-year-old British girl who disappeared last week in southern Portugal.

In footage broadcast on Portuguese television, the Real Madrid and former England and Manchester United footballer held up a poster with a photo of the girl and made an appeal for help in tracing Madeleine McCann.

"If you have seen this little girl please could you go to your local authorities or police and give any information that you have. Any genuine information you have — please, please help us," said Beckham.

Two Portuguese soccer players — Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo and Chelsea's Paulo Ferreira — have also appealed for information, speaking in English and Portuguese.

Meanwhile, the Madeleine's parents said Friday they were satisfied police were doing all they could to find their daughter as authorities wound down their search of the local countryside.

Gerry and Kate McCann spent most of Thursday at a local police station. They said in a statement they had witnessed the police resources deployed in the search for their daughter.

"We have now seen at first hand how hard the police are working in the search for Madeleine and their strong desire to find her," the statement said.

"We are very grateful for all the efforts and offers of support that we have had from home and from around the world. We have been moved by the enormous willingness of people to do all they can to help find Madeleine."

Around 150 officers and dozens of volunteers combed remote areas of Portugal's Algarve region in the days after the girl vanished in what police believe was an abduction.

Authorities said some units with sniffer dogs were still on duty but that most of the force had stood down after checking a 200-sq. kilometer (77 sq.-mile) area several times.

Detectives were seen Friday checking rooms at the Ocean Club holiday village where the McCanns were staying when their daughter disappeared.

Some media have criticized the Portuguese police for not doing more but the British ambassador to Portugal, John Buck, has defended the local authorities.

Portuguese law prohibits police from revealing details of ongoing investigations.

Police have said they are pursuing several lines of inquiry, including the possibility Madeleine was taken abroad. Officers at the nearby border with Spain were said to be on alert and carrying out spot checks of vehicles.

Madeleine's parents left her, and her brother and sister, both aged two, alone while they went to one of their hotel's restaurants about 50 meters (150 feet) away on Thursday evening last week. The parents said they checked up on the children several times about every half-hour before Madeleine disappeared.