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Beckham believes in England

David Beckham believes England have a great chance of reaching the latter stages of the World Cup in Brazil.

The former England captain has praised Roy Hodgson for his squad selection and thinks the blend of youth and experience gives them a great chance of going a long way in the tournament which kicks off in 22 days

"I think it's a really good selection," Beckham told Sky Sports News in an exclusive interview. "Roy has done really well since he has come in as the manager of England; it's a great job to have, but it's a tough job.

"You've got players that are playing at the top of their game and I think what he's done is pick players that are at the top of their game.

"They're young players, they've had great seasons. People have been saying it for years about players coming in to a big competition like this - it's not about that anymore.

"These young players have been playing in the biggest league in the world this season and quite a few seasons so there's no players that are going to go on to this stage and be affected by it because you've got players that are playing, week in and week out, against some of the best players in the world and in the biggest league in the world and for some of the biggest clubs in the world.

"You've got a captain like Stevie G (Gerrard) that has had one of the best seasons probably for him and that Liverpool have had for quite a while, so you've got players like that who are well respected by the younger players and who the younger players will want to play for, so I think that we can cause a few upsets, a few surprises.

"Obviously we have a tough group, but there is no reason why we can't go really far in this competition. You are coming up against a great team, the Italians, who always perform well in the World Cup. They have got great players and a great history, but that can be a good thing for us because I think we always perform well against the big teams and it doesn't get much bigger than this.

"The heat and the humidity are obviously going to be a factor but you can only prepare enough for those first few games... they will do well."

Beckham also thinks that the England players should have no fear if a knock-out game goes to penalties.

"Maybe we over think it," Beckham added. "Obviously we haven't had great success in big competitions; sometimes it can be over thought.

"Stevie G scored some great penalties and important penalties this year. We have got young players which are going to step up and not even be worried about it, so the lads don't need me to say anything to them or for anyone else.

"They don't even have to worry about penalties for quite a few games, so just enjoy the occasion. There's no bigger competition in the world than the World Cup and for a player to go there, it makes them proud, so enjoy it."