Photograph of David Beckham Using An Inhaler Sparks Concern

David Beckham's agent has played down concerns that the player's asthma could affect him at the World Cup next summer, the Times of London reported.

The former England captain was photographed using an inhaler as he prepared for extra-time during Los Angeles Galaxy's MLS Cup final defeat by Real Salt Lake yesterday. Altitude is expected to be a factor for all players during the tournament in South Africa, where six of the venues are at more than 3,000 feet above sea level.

Simon Oliveira, Beckham's agent, has confirmed the 34-year-old has dealt with a mild form of the condition since childhood but insisted it had never had an impact on his soccer, the paper reported.

"David has suffered with this since he was a young boy but it has obviously had no effect on his performance," Oliveira said, the Times reported.

"He has never sought to make it public but if it does inspire any sufferer to think they can achieve great things like many other sportsmen have done then so much the better. Some of the best athletes in the world suffer from asthma and there is no problem with his aerobic fitness."

Dr. Mike Thomas, one of the country's top asthma experts, believes Beckham can provide inspiration for youngsters suffering from the condition, the paper reported.

Click here for more from the Times of London.