British PM hails Beckham
London - British Prime Minister David Cameron described David Beckham as an "incredible role model in sport" on Thursday after England coach Fabio Capello signalled the end of the player's international career.
"I'd just like to take the opportunity to pay tribute to someone who, I think, has been an incredible role model in sport," Cameron said.
"We will all remember some of those great free kicks, some of those great moments that he's been responsible for.
"I'm sure lots of people will be sad that he's not going to be playing for England again."
But Cameron refused to be drawn on the way that Capello had announced his decision in a TV interview without first breaking the bad news to the player, currently with his Los Angeles Galaxy club in California.
"I've learned a few things from this job in the first three months and one of them is let the England football manager get on with managing the England football team, and hopefully he'll let me get on with running the country," Cameron said, after a speech about Britain's tourist industry.
In an ITV interview before England's 2-1 friendly win over Hungary on Wednesday, Capello said 35-year-old Beckham was "probably a little bit old" to figure in his plans as he rebuilds his team after a poor World Cup.