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How old is too old?

11:55 UK time, Thursday, 12 August 2010

England coach Fabio Capello has called time on former captain David Beckham's international career at the age of 35, saying the national team's future lies in the hands of younger players. Should age determine when you retire?

Capello's feelings were first revealed in a television interview before Wednesday night's friendly, prompting Beckham's agent to release a statement confirming the player's desire to carry on playing for England.

Elsewhere, the Princess Royal, who turns 60 on Sunday shows no signs of slowing down. With links to more than 200 charities and organisations, last year she carried out 600 engagements. When asked whether she planned to take things easier, her reply was "unlikely".

Is age just a number? Should Capello allow Beckham to carry on playing? Should Princess Anne pass some of her engagements to other younger royals? Who should decide how old is too old to work?

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    i do hope her royal highness the princess royal takes it a bit easier now shes turned 60
    it must be murder being waited on 24/7 going to fetes, lunches and ceremonies in flash limos's all the time...bless

  • Comment number 2.

    Age should not be a barrier to anything provided one can still carry out the task to hand.
    It is time employers realised this, they are too keen to replace experience with younger people who in the main have no understanding of the job/s

  • Comment number 3.

    In sports some activities may be governed by age, but in everything else I don't think and cannot see why age matters.

  • Comment number 4.

    No, merit/skill should determine when someone retires.

  • Comment number 5.

    Stupid question .... seeing as we have just been told that 65 (for men) is too young to retire.

  • Comment number 6.

    I hardly think you can compare some benefit scrounger, who occasionally has to stand up & make the odd speech & open supermarkets here & there, and attend village fetes, to someone who has run his socks off, albeit not very successfully, for his country for many years. And yes, 35 is too old to play football professionally now.

  • Comment number 7.

    Someone once said if David Beckham had been born ugly nobody would have heard of him. George Best said he was a one trick pony the best crosser of a ball this country has had but he could not dribble, tackle or run.

    As for age you footballers who can still do a great job for their clubs at 35 and over Giggs, Scholes .

  • Comment number 8.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 9.

    Age is completely irrelevant. If you're good enough then you're young enough, or old enough.

  • Comment number 10.

    I have to say Beckham is more of a success than Capello.
    Capello should be the one to go, based on the world cup fiasco. Beckham should be re-appraised when he's fit again. Whatever the outcome, it was simple bad manners for the news to be announced in the manner it was. Beckham has earned better treatment than he was given by Capello.

  • Comment number 11.

    How old is too old? When age starts to effect what you do.

    There are people playing Sunday league Football at 60, because their lifestyle has kept them in good shape. Then you have the 25 stone 40 year olds whose chosen non working life style of eating junk food, watching TV, smoking and drinking beer all day, every day, has left them needing a mobility scooter to get around.

    Who would you employ out of the two?

  • Comment number 12.

    David may well be too old and too slow for the international game but Fabio should have paid him the respect he deserves and discussed it with him before blurting out his thoughts to the media, I am sure David would feel that Fabios offer of one last game in a friendly to say goodbye to the fans, would be totally beneath him, it would be different if it was Davids choice Ithink.
    Mr Capello has a lot to learn I think about the British mentallity and the british way of doing things.

  • Comment number 13.

    The BEckham angle is a bit pointless with this subject. His international career was effectively over when he got injured. He is very unlikely to be able to represent England at the next tournament in two years when he is 37. A 27 year old BEckham would get into the team easily. He just doesn't ahve the same speed or physical performance levels as he did.

    But comparing physical sports to office type jobs is pointless (Although i have just thought of Randy Couture whose performances in the UFC in his forties are nothing short of astonishing).

  • Comment number 14.

    When your trying to mimic your childrens fashion, then you are certainly too old !

    As for Beck'sif you cant deliver the goods, move aside and let someone younger and more capable do it. Shame our politician, civil servants cant follow the same approach clutching on to their jobs despite their gross incompetence.

  • Comment number 15.

    Beckham needs to stand aside and we need to re-build around younger players in the time we have before the next World Cup. However, he is not too old to be playing football.
    You are only as old as your body and mind allow you to be in the pursuit of the activities you enjoy. I try and live an active outdoor life and believe that, approaching 50, I still have 30 or so more years to enjoy those pursuits. I like to think that when I do sit down to retirement, I can look back and say - life was good, cheerio.

  • Comment number 16.

    My initial reaction to hearing this was that unfortunately, in football as in many sports, yes, 35 is too old. I thought it was a bit rich for Capello to go on about the future being with younger players, which of course it is but has he only just realised this?!?!?!?
    Given Englands APPALLING world cup disaster he might have done better if he had had Beckham on the squad.
    HE CERTAINLY COULDN'T HAVE DONE ANY WORSE!!
    By the way David, you don't NEED the money anyway. If you get a bit short of cash, sell a few of your wife's spare handbags or throw a few of her CD's on the fire. That'll warm you on those cold Calfornian winter nights LMAO!!

  • Comment number 17.

    6. At 12:49pm on 12 Aug 2010, Len Day wrote:

    And yes, 35 is too old to play football professionally now.

    ----

    I agree! The younger players need to be given a chance to show their potential otherwise the older players will suddenly leave and then we are left with no team. It's just rotation. To be honest, if he wasn't so blinded by money Beckham would have stepped down like Shearer did.

  • Comment number 18.

    Intellectual age can vary from individual to individual.
    I have met 40 Year olds who are simply looking forward to doing the gardening and 80 Year olds (including my own Father) who still would happily put in a full days work.

    Regarding Specific Jobs Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of UK should have a minimum age of 44 So hard luck Dick Camcleg Age 43 we feel your pain!

  • Comment number 19.

    12 Aug 2010, Toad In The Hole wrote

    How old is too old? When age starts to effect what you do.

    There are people playing Sunday league Football at 60, because their lifestyle has kept them in good shape. Then you have the 25 stone 40 year olds whose chosen non working life style of eating junk food, watching TV, smoking and drinking beer all day, every day, has left them needing a mobility scooter to get around.

    Who would you employ out of the two?

    ====================================
    The one who can do the job the best.

  • Comment number 20.

    Too old is when you know yourself that you cannot perform as well as you once could the so you have to change direction and move on to doing something new.

    Age has really got nothing to do with it. It happens at every stage throughout a lifetime.

  • Comment number 21.

    11. At 1:01pm on 12 Aug 2010, Toad In The Hole wrote:
    How old is too old? When age starts to effect what you do.
    ------------

    And the answer is as simple as the above - age should not be a barrier until it affects your output/ performance.

    The problem is judging this. When the default retirment age of 65 is scrapped i can see a lot of cases ending up with Employment TRibunals when an employer argues that age is affecting an individual's role but the individual disagrees. Indeed some employers may argue on age grounds when they want someone out for other reasons, say over a personal disagreement.

  • Comment number 22.

    1. At 12:41pm on 12 Aug 2010, dwangeddy wrote:
    i do hope her royal highness the princess royal takes it a bit easier now shes turned 60
    it must be murder being waited on 24/7 going to fetes, lunches and ceremonies in flash limos's all the time...bless
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The Princess Royal undertook 600 engagements last year. That's almost two a day every day. I can't think of any other Royal working that hard. And she usually drives herself, in her Range Rover. Sometimes she may have to be flown, but I can't critcise that. Try doing two functions in one day by road...
    And she actually a very very nice lady.

  • Comment number 23.

    "
    19. At 1:12pm on 12 Aug 2010, jamesev wrote:

    12 Aug 2010, Toad In The Hole wrote

    How old is too old? When age starts to effect what you do.

    There are people playing Sunday league Football at 60, because their lifestyle has kept them in good shape. Then you have the 25 stone 40 year olds whose chosen non working life style of eating junk food, watching TV, smoking and drinking beer all day, every day, has left them needing a mobility scooter to get around.

    Who would you employ out of the two?

    ====================================
    The one who can do the job the best.
    "

    Exactly.

  • Comment number 24.

    It depends on the job. Cameron is too old as the world has moved on since his beliefs were moulded in the Thatcher years. Same with the Millibands who are unable to think beyond New Labour. Beckham still looks pretty so I guess he can survive in advertising. Princess Anne should be able to wave at adoring crowds indefinately. BBC moderators should move on after five years as their prejudices soon come to conflict with the intellectual climate of the day.

  • Comment number 25.

    What younger players? I presume he means those currently being trained in foreign countries.
    Age IS just a number to a certain degree. The ability to do one's job as effectively as possible is the determining factor, not age. Of course, if we could persuade young people to plough all their hard-earned money into a pension and hope it doesn't get raided, they could retire at 35...

  • Comment number 26.

    If you are an MP any one over the reitrement age is too old.

    If you are a footballer it is your goal scoring ability which is the issue not age. Clearly, as most of those English footballers in south Africa could not score goals they should all be retired irrespective of age.

  • Comment number 27.

    When I was young old men ran everything; now I am old the young do.

    Somewhere in the middle I missed out.

  • Comment number 28.

    "jono-been wrote:

    Old people should retire to free up jobs for the younger generation.
    God, I hate baby boomers."

    Laughing. Diddums den. Some of you lot just want everything handed to you don't you. If you're not competent enough to get a job, it must be the fault of people who already have jobs lol. Good try. Others think it's the fault of immigrants, and probably even UFOs.
    God, I hate nit-wits.

  • Comment number 29.

    According to the government - keep working until you drop so you never receive the pension you have funded with £1000's.

    Anyway too old is always one day older than me.

  • Comment number 30.

    As the population becomes generally healthier, people live longer, and fewer babies are born, it would seem counter-intuitive to impose an age-limit on jobs in order to 'make room for younger workers'. Ideally, age shouldn't matter as long as the individual in question is fit and capable to do their job. Having said that, perhaps some kind of age restriction is useful in some cases, if only to avoid a situation where people feel pressured to work well into their 70s or beyond...? Not everyone wants to, or should, have to do so, but the choice should be there - so somehow, the balance has to be struck. It would be great if each person could be treated on a case-by-case basis, their ability to carry on their job as well as their WILL to be taken into account, before any arbitrary decisions to axe them are made. But this, undoubtedly, won't be 'cost effective', and therefore it will never happen.

  • Comment number 31.

    22. At 1:16pm on 12 Aug 2010, Jeff Martin wrote:

    And she actually a very very nice lady.

    .........................................................................

    Couldnt agree more, was fortunate enough to meet her several times in Bosnia many years ago. Happy Birthday Ma'am!

    As for Beckham, better produce another sprog to get another fee from Hello or some such nonsense for the photos and get over it! My pub team could do with a midfielder if you could fit it in though.......

  • Comment number 32.

    @16 Erm, Beckham would have been in the squad if he hadn't been injured.

    Personally, I think that you should be in a job as long as you are fit for purpose. Though as a 20 year old it does seem like the previous generation has taken everything for themselves (free University then charged for those in England, causing the banking crisis by borrowing too much, then forcing cuts on younger people, not retiring when there is a lack of jobs for young people). Still, we do have some things better, like the internet!

  • Comment number 33.

    How old is too old?
    For what?
    For athletes there comes a time when an older person's contributions can handicap a team more than help. Athletes need to face aging, aches, pains and injuries gracefully.
    Unfortunately "desire" doesn't count. I'd like to play basketball like I used to, or baseball or volleyball...but it's enough at this point to watch and cheer, and not doze.
    I doubt that the Princess Royal, who turns 60 on Sunday, needs to exert the physical demands of a prime athlete. Her 600 engagements, though I'm sure appreciated, would become physically demanding by volume only.
    How old is too old?
    For what?
    Depends on what activity you're talking about and the state of your health.
    Some of us, maybe most of us, have trouble admitting that we are getting old and cannot do what we once did. I think it's life's way of reminding us that physical activity is not the be all and the end all. In fact, I think it is a very small part of who we are as conscious beings.

  • Comment number 34.

    22. At 1:16pm on 12 Aug 2010, Jeff Martin wrote:

    1. At 12:41pm on 12 Aug 2010, dwangeddy wrote:
    i do hope her royal highness the princess royal takes it a bit easier now shes turned 60
    it must be murder being waited on 24/7 going to fetes, lunches and ceremonies in flash limos's all the time...bless
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The Princess Royal undertook 600 engagements last year. That's almost two a day every day. I can't think of any other Royal working that hard. And she usually drives herself, in her Range Rover. Sometimes she may have to be flown, but I can't critcise that. Try doing two functions in one day by road...
    And she actually a very very nice lady.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A very nice lady she may well be, but do you honestly think that attending 2 functions a day is hard work? Quite frankly, I find that insulting to people, and there are many, that really do put in a hard days graft, and for a lot less than this woman gets, too. So don't tell me that she 'works hard' because she does not.

  • Comment number 35.

    If you're good enough at the job, it doesn't matter how old or how young you are. As long as you're competent, nothing else matters.

  • Comment number 36.

    Well first of all you got to look at the difference in the average age of the German team compared to England. Then look at the goal difference in the last game....

    It's sad but true...

  • Comment number 37.

    You know when you dance in front of your teenage daughters.

  • Comment number 38.

    I think Beckham should sue for age discrimination. I'm sure he has enough witnesses, and evidence for a proper hearing! As long as the heart, mind and physical abilities are still present, you should work for as long as you want. Appalling show by Capello!

  • Comment number 39.

    Age limits depend on the context. Backham has a prettyboy job which is unstable. Intelligent jobs may pay less but they are more stable and less limitations are made by age compared with skills and experience.

    As for living I was told 'your only as young as the woman you feel'.

  • Comment number 40.

    Its not about age but one's ability to be able to compete at the top level. After that there are always Masters' events as in rowing where we race right up to 75+. As you say its just a number. Steve Redgrave won is last Olympic Gold Medal when he was 39 in an endurance sport.
    The Princess Royal is amazing and the invective above about her being waited on is simply not true. Her representational schedule sustained for over 40 years would be far too tough for most people. She like her mother is indomitable and long may they continue.
    In any event the government is now expecting all of us to work longer not because they think we can do it but because they can not afford to pay the pensions when they fall due. Its a pity they did not ring fence the money when they started to collect it in 1948.

  • Comment number 41.

    I've sinned and lived to be 66, (more to come I hope).

    Despite being 66 I can still do regular 10 mile walks in the New Forest and yet the Coastguard are slinging me out as a Rescue Officer because I'm 'too old'. Never mind the fact that I have advanced rescue skills that are continually in use and I have been on numerous 'blue light' jobs this month alone. I've also just qualified on enhanced response skills for ambulance call-outs too. None of that matters - just clear off, I'm told.

    Despite being 66 I still write books, My 3rd is due out next January and and I am an External Examiner at several 'Russell Group' universities. Nevertheless, I couldn't get a teaching job anywhere because I am 'too old to be any use'.

    Take out '66' and substitute any other personal description, (Scots, ginger hair, female or whatever), and everybody woudl be shouting about discrimination. OK, quite right too. So, HM Coastguard or UK University Chancellors, why am I being discriminated against?

    I just wish I was one year younger because if anybody treated me like this after the new rules come in I'd have them in front of a Tribunal PDQ.

  • Comment number 42.

    Looking at Capello's ability (not his age) - one might suggest that Beckham would be a superior England manager?

  • Comment number 43.

    Maybe Capello should have just told the truth instead of mentioning his age.

    Beckham isn't good enough anymore.

    And to those that are having a go at Capello - what about the media that brought it up and leaped on it?

    If this had been about David James, we wouldn't have all this circus.

  • Comment number 44.

    As the Queen shows no signs of retiring, why should Princess Anne? When people complain about the Royals standing round all day opening fetes and the like - standing for long periods is no joke. Ask people who still work in factories and on the shop floor. Ask a nurse or anyone like that. I'm not comparing their jobs with the royals, there's no comparison I know, but someone did mention the 'standing round and opening fetes' bit.
    As to David Beckham retiring, I think it was beyond the pale for Capello to tell people openly before having a one to one discussion with him first. All right, DB hasn't performed so well lately, so maybe it is time for him to retire from world class football, but maybe still play for a club [that'll be for the club in question to decide].
    Whatever he decides to do, good luck to him. He's certainly been a character on and off the field.
    As for a person being too old - you're as old as you feel. On a bad day I feel 90 [I've just had my 70th birthday] and can hardly do anything. On a good day I feel better and am able to do a few things. Incidentally, I had to retire from my job when I was 51 because I lost so much time from work on sick leave, but had things been different, I would have worked for much longer. Many people with a desk job could go on for a long time, while people doing manual work and a lot of the 'standing around' I mentioned earlier would need to retire when possible.

  • Comment number 45.

    22. At 1:16pm on 12 Aug 2010, Jeff Martin wrote:
    1. At 12:41pm on 12 Aug 2010, dwangeddy wrote:
    i do hope her royal highness the princess royal takes it a bit easier now shes turned 60
    it must be murder being waited on 24/7 going to fetes, lunches and ceremonies in flash limos's all the time...bless
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The Princess Royal undertook 600 engagements last year. That's almost two a day every day. I can't think of any other Royal working that hard. And she usually drives herself, in her Range Rover. Sometimes she may have to be flown, but I can't critcise that. Try doing two functions in one day by road...
    And she actually a very very nice lady.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    That’s great, no really 600 you say? My dad did manual labour for 40 years (man and boy) as well as my mum working in a factory from the age of 14 up until her retirement. Their sacrifice enabled me to go to university. Unfortunately my mum and dad raised their children without a nanny (Nanny Mabel probably did a sterling job for Anne’s kids). I’m sure a life of great wealth and without the financial stress coupled with all of life’s great advantages that must be a hard life. We at the lower end of the class spectrum are in awe of their duty.

  • Comment number 46.

    I shall enjoy all this. Beckham is of the generation(s) that have perfected the view anyone over 40 is past it, too old to work, a waste of space, senile and not worth the space they occupy on this earth, never mind the resources they consume.
    What a surprise those generations are now treading on the toes of 40 themselves and suddenly......whoa !! 35 is not too old to play International football, your not past it a 40, your mature with experience and a lot to offer. Then maybe at 50? or 60? what goes round comes round.
    I hope they won't be looking to us old(er) ones for any sympathy.

  • Comment number 47.

    34. At 1:45pm on 12 Aug 2010, Len Day wrote:

    22. At 1:16pm on 12 Aug 2010, Jeff Martin wrote:

    1. At 12:41pm on 12 Aug 2010, dwangeddy wrote:
    i do hope her royal highness the princess royal takes it a bit easier now shes turned 60
    it must be murder being waited on 24/7 going to fetes, lunches and ceremonies in flash limos's all the time...bless
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The Princess Royal undertook 600 engagements last year. That's almost two a day every day. I can't think of any other Royal working that hard. And she usually drives herself, in her Range Rover. Sometimes she may have to be flown, but I can't critcise that. Try doing two functions in one day by road...
    And she actually a very very nice lady.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A very nice lady she may well be, but do you honestly think that attending 2 functions a day is hard work? Quite frankly, I find that insulting to people, and there are many, that really do put in a hard days graft, and for a lot less than this woman gets, too. So don't tell me that she 'works hard' because she does not.

    -_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_

    Do you actually know what she does? I think before you make comments such as this you should find out a bit more about what she does and how much revenue she generates for charities and the country.

    Yes, other people may work harder in a manual aspect as in digging holes, working on a production line, but that doesn't mean that its only the manual workers that work hard. Blue collar workers such as you should stop thinking the world owes them a living. Before you say anything, I am what people class as a blue collar worker, but I don't think the world owes me a living and do not have inane jealousies of people who have inherited money.

  • Comment number 48.

    35. At 1:48pm on 12 Aug 2010, Martin1983 wrote:
    If you're good enough at the job, it doesn't matter how old or how young you are. As long as you're competent, nothing else matters.

    ========================================================
    precisely..... Cappello says he is too old, so perhaps he isn't now as competent as that required to win the world cup?

  • Comment number 49.

    ''1. At 12:41pm on 12 Aug 2010, dwangeddy wrote:
    i do hope her royal highness the princess royal takes it a bit easier now shes turned 60
    it must be murder being waited on 24/7 going to fetes, lunches and ceremonies in flash limos's all the time...bless
    ''

    At least her grammar and punctuation is better than yours. It couldn't be worse.

  • Comment number 50.

    ''Should age determine when you retire?''
    Not necessarily.It all depend of whether the person concerned is capable of doing the job.
    In Beckham's case, it depends on how he could respond during a match.
    In Capello's case, he is clearly past it. His management at the World Cup just about confirmed it.

  • Comment number 51.

    ''Should Capello allow Beckham to carry on playing?''
    What the hell is it to do with him? At least Beckham can play football, whereas Capello.........!

  • Comment number 52.

    True story; I was on a management course doing a module in personnel management. We had an assignment about recruitment. We had to write a job and person discription for someone to run an IT department.

    One student wrote 'The person must not be over 35 as they will be unable to understand IT' The lecturer read this out to the class (of 70) saying he marked this assignment on his 36th birthday. He asked himself 'what is the difference in me today that wasn't there yesterday'

    I seem to remember that Benny Hill claimed his success was down to the fact that he still thought the same in later life as he did when he was 17.

    Some people NEVER mature (me for one - and glad of it) it's no wonder women call us 6 foot 2 year olds.

    This is one good definition I heard recently;

    you are over the hill when a narrow waist and a broad mind change places.




  • Comment number 53.

    For Beckham it's not only a case of being too old; he's just not good enough and he never has been. The same could be said for at least half the England players who have just come back from South Africa. What a pity Capello has only just noticed.

    Age is not just a number, in some cases it actually determines a person's ability to do a job. I wouldn't want my grand-daughter looked after by a 75 year-old nursery assistant, and, if I'm ever unfortunate enough to need rescuing from a fire, I wouldn't want a 70 year-old firefighter standing at the top of the ladder.

    Some jobs are better suited to younger people; most people my age don't want to accept it, but it's true.

  • Comment number 54.

    Age is a state of mind.

    If fit there is no limit to how long one can carry on. It becomes a contest between brain and muscle power. Usually brain wins.

  • Comment number 55.

    It is a rather stupid question. Obviously if you can not do the job because of your age, you should retire. For some jobs age is not a factor, but for something such as international football age is a factor as as you get older you body slows down, and takes longer to recover from injury. With Beckham it's absolutely clear he isn't the player he was 10 years ago. He can still cross a ball and take a freekick as these are skills which don't worsen with age, but he can no longer cope with the more physical aspects of being an international which requires you to be able to run 10 miles at varying speeds.
    I myself do a bit of running, and have run 7 marathons, and at 51 can not run as fast I could 20 years ago, additionally it is now a lot harder to build up my fitness after injury. 25 years ago I could have done no running for months and then gone out and do a 5 mile run, now I need to build up over a few weeks.
    I don't agree with people who say you are as old as you feel. I feel no different from when I was in my 20's, however when I go running my body disagrees.

  • Comment number 56.

    Hmmm, I was under the impression that under the condem's "work till you drop" scheme Beckham should be allowed to play till he's 65 (& wouldn't we all like to watch him try" :)

  • Comment number 57.

    I'm the wrong side of 80, it hasn't stopped me from volunteering at our local youth club and I still manage to beat most of the children to the top of Snowdon whenever we take them camping in Snowdonia.

    If you want to stay active as you get older then I would recommend spending as much time as possible around children, go to your local youth club or scouts/guides association and offer your time to them and I guarantee that you will get far more out of it than you ever put in !

    Getting an allotment is also a great way of keeping active as well as being a cheap source of high quality fresh food.


    As far as David Beckham is concerned then I'm afraid I think he was past his best when Manchester United sold him to Real Madrid and he's been living on his reputation ever since. He certainly hasn't delivered in an England shirt for many years now; he may produce the occasional free kick or cross but I haven't seen anything close to a man of the match performance from him for a many a year.
    He's also going to be 37 by the time the next European Cup finals come around and I doubt he's going to be capable of taking part in that competition so it is probably for the best that the manager gives some younger players a couple of years experience with the team in preparation for the next tournament.

    If he were included in a future England squad I would assume it was for marketing rather than sporting reasons.

    As for the Royals, in all honesty I think the Monarchy should have been abolished decades ago so I couldn't give an unbiased answer either way.

  • Comment number 58.

    17. At 1:11pm on 12 Aug 2010, What_to_do wrote:
    6. At 12:49pm on 12 Aug 2010, Len Day wrote:

    And yes, 35 is too old to play football professionally now.

    ----

    I agree! The younger players need to be given a chance to show their potential otherwise the older players will suddenly leave and then we are left with no team. It's just rotation. To be honest, if he wasn't so blinded by money Beckham would have stepped down like Shearer did.

    ---------------

    No, 35 is not too old to play football professionally now, for the simple reason that many players are still playing football professionally beyond the age of 35 and are doing so successfully, if they are too old or no longer able to perform at the top flight why would their clubs still pay them thousands a week to play? Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Sol Campbell, Edwin Van Der Sar, David James, Brad Friedel are all examples. Also David Beckham does not get paid to play for England, he is paid by his club and probably makes most of his money from advertising off the field so money is not his main motivation when it comes to playing for England. Beckham's desire to play for England comes from a genuine passion for the game and a love of playing for his country, this is one of the reasons Beckham has been so respected as a sportsman. Many would agree that in terms of raw talent Beckham has never been the greatest of players, very good yes and probably one of the best passers of the ball ever but what set him apart was commitment, work ethic and keeping himself fit. With regards to Alan Shearer he retired from international football to prolong his club career as he knew he couldn't commit to both given the number of major injuries he suffered throughout his career. Beckham on the other hand has been relatively fortunate with injuries, has looked after himself well and therefore feels he can still contribute something to the national team and his motivation for this is certainly not money.

  • Comment number 59.

    Dont mention the word old ; if you can`t do it don`t try it

  • Comment number 60.

    38. At 1:56pm on 12 Aug 2010, TheGrassAintGreener wrote:
    I think Beckham should sue for age discrimination. I'm sure he has enough witnesses, and evidence for a proper hearing! As long as the heart, mind and physical abilities are still present, you should work for as long as you want. Appalling show by Capello!

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    I am sorry but what evidence? Beckham hasn't scored for England for over four years. Capello brought Beckham back into the England Camp after he had been discarded for two years by the previous manager, and has played him in the majority of games albeit sparingly as Beckham can no longer play for 90 minutes. Beckham has generally play a bit part coming on for 15 minutes or so. He would have taken him as a player to the world cup if he hadn't been injuried, but he wouldn't have been in the starting line up.
    Beckham is currently injured and will not be fit again until late October, which is after the three qualifying games for Euro 2012 that we have to play this year have been played. He therefore will not be available for a competitive game until March 2011 when we play Wales, 6 weeks before his 36th birthday.
    One of the conditions that Capello required of Beckham was that he was playing football at the top level, and therefore Beckham went on loan to A C Milan, they have now decided to dispense with his services as they deem he is no longer good enough.
    Capello hasn't actually closed the door on Beckham, however it is very unlikely he will play competitively for England again.

  • Comment number 61.

    But the Coalition govt has recently announced we should all work till we drop dead. Age is all in the mind and just number. if I'm healthy and able to work until I die, I will whether at 80/90/100, God willing. It's different with sporting activity though because it takes physical effort and with age, the body might not be able to take it. We all told Capello during and after the World Cup through feedback that we wanted a young and new, fresh squad and he has started to work on that half. The manner and way it was done might not have been appropriate/the best but it was for sure the right decision. I personally like David Beckham but don't think he should be in the squad. We need to move forward not backwards.

  • Comment number 62.

    It's nothing to do with Beckham's age. Don't get me wrong, Beckham is an excellent individual, and has proved himself to be a terrific ambassador for all kinds of good causes that benefit Britain.
    However...... He is not good enough to play for England any more, and hasn't been since before the World Cup - the 2006 World Cup, that is.

  • Comment number 63.

    I'm not entirely sure how old is too old, but I wish someone would tell Madonna!

  • Comment number 64.

    "
    21. At 1:12pm on 12 Aug 2010, MrManj wrote:

    11. At 1:01pm on 12 Aug 2010, Toad In The Hole wrote:
    How old is too old? When age starts to effect what you do.
    ------------

    And the answer is as simple as the above - age should not be a barrier until it affects your output/ performance.

    The problem is judging this. When the default retirment age of 65 is scrapped i can see a lot of cases ending up with Employment TRibunals when an employer argues that age is affecting an individual's role but the individual disagrees. Indeed some employers may argue on age grounds when they want someone out for other reasons, say over a personal disagreement.

    "

    They'll just be made redundant, which is what happens to people (of all ages) now. Many companies make people "redundant" because it's easier than firing them. I've seen this first hand at a number of companies where I've worked freelance at. In one case, a permanent employee was made "redundant" because he had no people/social skills thus never got on with people; at another company two people were made "redundant" because they were useless. In both cases replacements were employed within a month, slightly different job titles to cover themselves.

  • Comment number 65.

    Come on Beckham - England needs a new coach who is up to date with strategies employed by other international football teams?

  • Comment number 66.

    47. At 2:23pm on 12 Aug 2010, Tony wrote:
    “Do you actually know what she does? I think before you make comments such as this you should find out a bit more about what she does and how much revenue she generates for charities and the country. “

    Maybe if you took the time to actually read the last post you would realize that the contributor was questioning how hard Princess Anne worked. I’m sure she does a lot for charity since some people might be arguable smitten by someone who is from the ruling elite. I'm sure she has excellent fund raising skills hosting the odd Tombola

    47. At 2:23pm on 12 Aug 2010, Tony wrote:
    “Yes, other people may work harder in a manual aspect as in digging holes, working on a production line, but that doesn't mean that its only the manual workers that work hard. Blue collar workers such as you should stop thinking the world owes them a living.”

    Again, who said the contributor mentions the world owes them a living? In parallel to this we have a ruling elite (god bless them and all who sail in them) that is supplemented by money from the underclass (erm sorry I mean the taxpayer). Do we owe them a living?

    47. At 2:23pm on 12 Aug 2010, Tony wrote:
    “Before you say anything, I am what people class as a blue collar worker, but I don't think the world owes me a living and do not have inane jealousies of people who have inherited money.”

    Just keep paying your taxes whilst bowing and scraping to those who are your ‘betters’. Maybe people are jealous (inane is such an overused words in Serfdom) that they have inherited lots of money. Possibly it might have something to do with them having such an undemocratic status in our society based on birth. But hey don’t forget to sing the national anthem with the family at bed time.

  • Comment number 67.

    Strange, how a supposedly super-fit person should get unfit so quickly.

    Unless, as suggested before, the Achilles injury, despite the world's best medical care, was more damaging than first ''pretended''.

    Of course it could be just Capello's hardman ''diplomacy''.
    England's football team certainly nedds it.

  • Comment number 68.

    Capello should call time on all the wannabe premier league players. They don't show any commitment to the England team and are just overpaid celebrities who want money, money etc.

    Start picking the team from the lower leagues who would want to play for England for the right reasons.

  • Comment number 69.

    Don’t want to say too much against David Beckham as he is a great ambassador for UK football and certainly loves the sport.

    However, the future is in younger players and 35 is old to play at the top. What we don’t want is a “Michael Schumacher” where he comes back and plays at half the former self and makes a fool of himself and those great memories of some of his performances and goals are wiped away.

    As for the Princess Royal, well she does not have to worry about day to day living, and if something does go wrong she knows she has the best doctors so a few charity works keeps her busy.

  • Comment number 70.

    To all you anti-royalists have a think about the work load of the two best OAPs in the country. Yeah, yeah, we hear how you say they get pampered 24/7, don't be so sad. Our Queen, in her eighties, and the Duke, in his nineties, put in a punishing amount of work each week and have done so all their lives. They don't whinge, they don't whine, but just get on with helping this country put on a brave face in front of the world despite us having a society of armchair anarchists who sneer at honest folk.

  • Comment number 71.

    "42. At 2:07pm on 12 Aug 2010, corum-populo-2010 wrote:
    Looking at Capello's ability (not his age) - one might suggest that Beckham would be a superior England manager?"

    Funniest comment so far!!

    The lionising of Beckham is getting ridiculous.

    Gary Lineker served his country with far more distinction, but I don't recall his 'Advisors' marshalling the press to complain about his treatment at Euro '92.

  • Comment number 72.

    In terms of football yes 35 is too old and retirement from the International team is right - not that the way it was done is right at all though.

    If Beckham wants to be a coach there is always that option but is he smart enough (I'm not sure) and he will have to start with a low division team.

    As for the Princess surely if her Ma & Pa can keep going in their 80s then she should - its hardly a hard life going round having nice lunches and shaking hands with the massses. Royals are royalty for life and have an obligation.

    Smart thing is Anne stripped her children of their royal titles so the same rules cannot be applied to them.

  • Comment number 73.

    The soul is born old but grows young. That is the comedy of life. And the body is born young and grows old. That is life's tragedy.

  • Comment number 74.

    "It all depends on your boss, if you are a servant or house -keeper age is no barrier you can work untill you drop {No Pension to pay this makes Mr Cameron and his friends very happy} The rest of us work untill your boss now say? any age we can quit or not? Footballers are like horses' only good in the short term, but they turn some horses into dog meat or glue ? So footballers have a much better life.

  • Comment number 75.

    The Princess Royal undertook 600 engagements last year. That's almost two a day every day. I can't think of any other Royal working that hard. And she usually drives herself, in her Range Rover. Sometimes she may have to be flown, but I can't critcise that. Try doing two functions in one day by road...
    And she actually a very very nice lady.
    ---------------
    I had 600 appointments last week. By road and I was paying for the petrol and car.

    I currently don't get a bung from the civil list but I am a nice bloke so I expect this is an oversight and will be receiving my wonga shortly.

    I have met Princess Ann many years ago while I was a Police Officer and She did seem a pleasant enough woman but this really isn't sufficient justification to say going to a few lunches and opening ceremonies constitutes a job!

  • Comment number 76.

    28. At 1:27pm on 12 Aug 2010, Brian Berlin wrote:

    Laughing. Diddums den. Some of you lot just want everything handed to you don't you. If you're not competent enough to get a job, it must be the fault of people who already have jobs lol. Good try. Others think it's the fault of immigrants, and probably even UFOs.
    God, I hate nit-wits.


    Your generation is useless. Look at you, all you do is moan about everything, you don't do anything to make it better. You complain even though your generation has had the best lifestyle of any other generation ever.

    You benefited the most from house price rises, now first time buyers cant afford homes.

    You burned oil, coal and gas in the 70's and 80's like it was never going to run out. You polluted the planet, and left messes for the younger generation to sort out. Your generation was in charge of the worst recession for a long time, again left for the next generation to sort out.

    You moan because there are not enough young people to be able to pay for your state pension, yet you consistently blame them for everything. If it was left to me to manage your pensions, I would give you nothing and let you die. In your own words, 'we arent competent to do anything'. In that case we aren't competent to give you a state pension.

    And then you have the cheek to tell me that I don't have a job because I'm not good enough? I left school with 10 A* to C GCSE grades, and looking for part time work whilst at college, yet no one employs people with little experience, BUT.. how am I supposed to get experience without a job. It's a vicious cirle. Again, your generations fault for causing the recession.

    Rant over.

  • Comment number 77.

    So Fabio (how old?) ,considers David Beckham too old to play for his home country even though he is fit and much younger players failed at the world cup!!! David Beckham got to where he is for being a good player and is a brilliant ambassador for England being known world wide. Think it unfair a foreign manager who cant speak the language easily decides in England that our one best and most loved English player should retire the FA should make that decision and I believe a lot of English fans would agree! As for Princess Anne at 60 what else can she do apart from opening fetes and opening up her house for equestrian events so great keep on going!!!

  • Comment number 78.

    If Capello has made the judgement based on age alone, he may have acted illegally. Age discrimination in employment is already illegal, at least in relation to those below state retirement age.

    Beckham's retirement (like anyone else's) should be judged on his fitness to still do his job.

  • Comment number 79.

    Sadly, despite all the media hype, Mr Beckham lost his "top calibre" edge 5 years ago. In the meantime he has merely been surviving on his celebrity status and Mr Capello was only stating the obvious. Having lost his ability to compete on the field (let us be honest HE HAS) it is time for him to continue and build on his contribution to football off the field. Best of luck to him and I look forward to seeing him continue in his career as long as he has the will to do so.

  • Comment number 80.

    In some areas age is an advantage - where experience counts.
    In other areas it can be offset by the inevitable physical degeneration and this is never more true than in physical sports such as football.

    At 35 Beckham has at best a very limited shelf-life so the issue is not about whether or not he can play football now, it is about whether or not he can be useful in the medium to short term. And Capello is right that the answer is no.

    He is trying to rebuild based on new young blood and that excludes 35 year old midfielders. You can play until you're nearly 40 as a goalie and sometimes into your mid-30s as a central defender but midfield and up front you will not be up to the task

    Sooner or later everyone is past it and the fact is that for Beckham it will be sooner. Introducing new untried blood at a major championship is not a god idea - get the team building now, making mistakes and gaining experience now and they will do better.

    That said - there is still a long way to go to develop the kind of young talent needed in all home nations - those with real technical skills are a long way off and it will take a major shift of emphasis in the coaching mentality to achieve it.

    England need to accept that success is a long term project and let Capello get on with starting it.

  • Comment number 81.

    Paul Scholes is the guy you wanna keep in your England squad; unassuming and a hell of a better player than Beckham. Witness his distribution at Wembley recently, it was a marvel and brought about the desired result for United. Overhead passes by Becks are all very well but total football is much much more than those; your control, agility and vision need to be as natural as breathing, note Maradona, Pele, Best - and a sudden change of pace is what great memories of great players that people treasure for ever. Hyped up also ran married to a so-called singer ain't gonna make England qualify for a place in the next European Cup !!

  • Comment number 82.

    Could this latest statement from Mr Cappello be brought about by some good old English home truths for Our David ??

  • Comment number 83.

    Age is all in the mind. What is important is vision, real skill, solid determination and current performance. Trying to place people in strict age catergories does not serve any purpose at all.

  • Comment number 84.

    How old is too old?

    It reminds me of an old song I once heard

    Early in the morning
    Hear the razors roar
    The silver's in the stubble
    And it wasn’t there before.

  • Comment number 85.

    When you are injured too often, too slow, and make too many mistakes one is no longer unsuitable to play - no matter ones age.

  • Comment number 86.

    The English team lacked the speed and reflexes required to win the World Cup. I believe standards should be used to judge whether a player is too old. However, the coach is right in saying that the team's future lies in the younger players as David Beckham is likely to be too old to play for England in the next World Cup.
    David Beckham should learn from Muralidaran to say good bye to National Level Football in style.

  • Comment number 87.

    Beckham, a name that will go down in Football history as one of the best. More talent in one foot than most of the present English team, and they have just shown how poor they are.
    Players like Rooney, just what does this person have to be on the Countries team. My first time of watching England play live was in Azerbaijan. The person who spoilt this was Rooney, had a bad attitude to the other side and showed it.
    Time to get the English team made up of players who want to play for their country instead of club players earning more money at the expense of the loyal fans.
    Beckham has more about him than the present English team and should steer well clear of the untalented, money grabbers that make up the present English team. If any of them had any pride, they would not play due to very poor performance in the World cup.

  • Comment number 88.

    Princess Anne does not get up in the morning and decide that she would like to visit this charity or that gathering she is asked to do it and if its picked then there is a wreaky were all the lackies get out to the place and make sure everything is to her liking she is ferried everywhere to the door and has to press a bit of flesh she gets food and flowers and asks questions that she wants to ask and makes some people happy to be touched by royalty which do not have the power of healing then at the end of the day which is about one to three hours there is a meal and a drink and a present then back in the car driven by another lacky and home there will be a cheque in the post so she works at 60 I think many 60 years old and older could do it and enjoy it as well after all its not that hard were as playing football is different they burn out quicker.

  • Comment number 89.

    I think that wether you like David Beckham or not, the way he has been treated is disgusting. He deserves better than finding out that he is no longer wanted on TV. He is the best placer of the bail for years. Yes he might not be able to run quite so fast now, but i bet he can still place a ball. People say that he should step aside and let the young players have a go. Well this would be alright but after watching last night, what young players are better than Beckham. If England had been playing a good team last night they would have lost 3/4 to nil if not more. The only person that played was Gerard, and his two goals were luck, a better term against them would never have allowed him so much space. I think that if Beckham had been at the World cup things would have been totally different. Whenever Beckham is on the pitch the whole mood of the England team changes. When Beckham played the second half of a game before the world cup as soon as he came on the pitch the other players just started to play up a notch. If anyone wants to be drooped it should be Wayne Rooney, he has never proformed in an England shirt. Last night he looked overweight, and worn out after 20 minutes, and thats being generous.

  • Comment number 90.

    Too old is when you feel you are too old to give a 100% performace, that you would be happy with.

    As to this case Capello should go now before he divides the English game any further. He has handled almost every situation that needed an experienced manager like a novice. Lampard should not even be in the squad for both playing and attitude reasons and now he knows that Capello wanted to use Paul Scholes in his place in South Africa. How can he respect the manager now?

    I have never rated Beckham as a outfield player, but because of his personality he brought something to the game. Beckham could turn a game with a free kick etc and until he can be replaced in that role he has a role to play, provided he feels he will not let the side down.

    Why was Walcott in the side last night? Not good enough two months ago, now starts, even though it was a friendly. Capello should be an psychology examination setter. He knows how to ask questions, but everyone is baffled by his answers.

    You can trace this complete lack of direction at the FA to the appointment of the current head of ITV's reign. In between he has caused chaos at the post office. So often age is the least of the barriers to making a complete mess of things.

  • Comment number 91.

    Since we're all supposed now to work till we're 66-70, and it'll be illegal to fire someone on grounds of age, Beckham better get his boots back on!

  • Comment number 92.

    Yes Age is very important for any game or sports. Even if a player is very successfull he himself must give space for new younger player at certain age of 28 to 30. A player of above the age of 30 must not be allowed to play. I didnt liked India's Tendulkar, Ganguly and Dravid playing even after getting almost half old age of 35 which I feel it was to make only records and not to play seriously for the teams win as if new younger players were not available or were not able to play.The act of allowing successful players to play for upto more old age makes other young new players feel inferior and it is not good for team also. For better team performance there must not be senior players and junior players. Entire team must be in the age group of upto 28 to 30 in which all players can easily mix and try to show their talents freely without any hesitation. In Football world cup, England didnt performed as expected because other teams had more younger players who performed better then the English players who were of more age then the players from other teams.

  • Comment number 93.

    "87. At 6:26pm on 12 Aug 2010, teabreak2 wrote:

    Beckham, a name that will go down in Football history as one of the best."

    Words almost fail me - absolutely ridiculous.

  • Comment number 94.

    Why so many class hatred comments about Princess Anne, do you know her personally, she had the misfortune to be born a 'Royal' it wsn't a matter of choice. Like her mother, she would be quite happy as a 'normal' person living in the country, neither has ever shirked their duty.
    The cost of the Royal Family is money well spent, they are our finest ambassadors and bring in the tourists, see another HYS.

  • Comment number 95.

    If Beckham has to retire from football, so should Capello. IMHO, I think they're both overpaid has-beens anyway. I don't personally like football but yes, football does need more young talented players but it also needs more young talented management, too.

  • Comment number 96.

    It's called PEAK PHYSICAL FITNESS, and yes it's age related.

    It's a different age for everyone, but it's safe to say that by age 35, you've passed that point.

    Footballers also make ludicrous amounts of money BECAUSE they're not fit to work on their Career their entire working life.

    Besides, it's time to move over, and let other people have the chance to carry the torch for a change. Why can US presidents only serve two terms?

  • Comment number 97.

    So long as you can still do the job fine then age shouldnt matter. But with all due respect to david beckham he is synomymous with a generation promised the world football wise - literally. in 2006 - and haven't delivered. You either want them to build a new team for the future or you don't people, you can't have it both ways. it's time for change.

  • Comment number 98.

    Age doesn't enter into it you are either capable or not capable, whatever the job, however it is more likely that for a sporty type of career fitness might wane.

    So, as you get older wisdom and experience should start to become more useful so Beckham wont have to be so fit if he just knows where to be and when to be there..

    But I would say that he is only old when he regrets his tatoos.

  • Comment number 99.

    Nick Clegg and a clique of LibDem MP's used ageism to oust their previous leader, Menzies Campbell. There can be little doubt now that Menzies will easily outlive the LibDem party.

  • Comment number 100.

    Age itself should not determine whether a person should retire. The most important factors should be the person's skill and their willingness to continue or to retire. However, in Beckham's situation one problem is his being quite prone to being injured.

 

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