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Beckham: Rooney the right man

David Beckham says Wayne Rooney is the right man to captain England.

Beckham believes boss Roy Hodgson made the correct decision in choosing the Manchester United striker to succeed Steven Gerrard, who announced his retirement from international football after the World Cup.

Talking to Sky Sports News HQ, Beckham said: "He's one of the most experienced players in the team now.

"Obviously there's a few players who have stopped playing now so he is the most respected player in the team as well.

"Young players will look up to Wayne for inspiration and he's a player that wears his heart on his sleeve and that's what playing for England is all about - It's what being an England player is all about.

"People want to see that passion. People want to see you fight for every ball and celebrate every goal that you score or every goal that you set up and that's what Wayne's all about."

Beckham also paid tribute to both Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, who shared 220 caps between them.

"I'm really sad to see Stevie step down as England captain but he always said he would step down from England duty once he realised that he was at a certain age and he felt that he needed to give more of his focus on Liverpool. It's a brave decision because obviously he's stepping down playing for his country," he said.

"He's such a great talent and he's such a great leader as well. I'm sure he was so proud to lead England in the World Cup and the amount of times he's been captain, but now Wayne takes over.

"With Frank also retiring as well, it's sad to see him go because he's been around for so many years. 106 caps - to reach that is an incredible milestone for him and to see him step down as well but he's got something else to focus on now. He wants to focus on playing for his club and everyone has to respect that."

Watch highlights of England's opening European Qualifier away to Switzerland on Sky Sports 5 HD at 10pm on Monday night.