Sven-Goran Eriksson has insisted David Beckham will skipper England at the 2006 World Cup even though he admitted several other of his players were capable of wearing the captain's armband.

Eriksson believes he has potential ready-made successors in Steven Gerrard, John Terry and ex-England Under-21 captain Frank Lampard come the day that Beckham brings down the curtain on his international career.

But he is adamant Beckham will remain his on-field lieutenant for the foreseeable future and has praised his professionalism, particularly as he is never out of the public spotlight.

Beckham took part in his first training session during England's mini tour of the United States ahead of the today's international with Colombia in the Giants Stadium after being released from his commitments with Real Madrid.

Eriksson said: ''In terms of captains, when everyone is fit, I am very lucky that we have many captains out there who could be the actual captain.

''When Frank Lampard made a speech at the recent Football Writers' Association dinner I thought that was by a captain as well - even though he is not a captain at present. He could be, that's for sure. I was very impressed by that.

''Steven Gerrard could be the captain in the future and he is the captain for Liverpool. John Terry could be the captain. He is the captain of Chelsea. Sol Campbell did the job on Saturday.

''We have many who could do the job but, once again, I can say that I have no intentions of changing the captain. I am very happy with the one I have.

''The idea that I would think about changing captains is rather silly. For me, David Beckham is the perfect captain - and on top of that, you can't find another right foot like his for corners, free-kicks and crosses.''

Beckham inevitably attracted plenty of interest from spectators who watched the 90-minute training session in sweltering conditions.

Eriksson said: ''David is the most famous footballer you will find in the world. But when he is on the field he is precisely the same as the others - working hard. He is no diva. I admire him for being such a professional, especially because of all that goes on in his celebrity life. It's incredible. Everywhere we go, he's 10 times bigger than anyone else on the team.

''My friends in Spain were extremely surprised by how professional his approach was to his football but he has always been like that.''

England striker Alan Smith has insisted his relationship with Eriksson is undamaged after publicly showing his dissatisfaction at initially being left of the starting line-up for Saturday's friendly international with the United States.

Smith exchanged words with England number two Steve McClaren in the reception area of the team hotel in Chicago after discovering he was not part of the first 11 for game at Soldier Field.

The Manchester United striker was later restored to the team alongside Andy Johnson after Peter Crouch was forced to withdraw with an ankle problem.

Smith insisted he is always upset if he is not selected - whether it be at international or club level - and that it would be more of a problem if he was unconcerned.

The former Leeds player said: ''Anyone who does not get in the team is disappointed. I am sure the manager would have been disappointed if I hadn't had that reaction.

''In terms of bust-ups there was nothing. I spoke to Steve McClaren but there is not an issue to be honest. If the manager doesn't pick me, and it's the same with Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, then I am deeply disappointed.

''From my point of view and from Steve and Sven's point of view, there is not an issue, and we just got with training as normal on Monday.''