David Beckham has been ruled out of the World Cup after tearing his Achilles tendon during AC Milan's Serie A game with Chievo.

Beckham sustained the injury without coming into contact with anyone else, limping to the sidelines for treatment in a match Milan went on to win 1-0.

Milan coach Leonardo said after the game: "Beckham's injury makes us feel terrible.

"He is an extraordinary guy and Sunday's game proves it yet again.

"I cannot enjoy this evening considering this serious injury.

"David understood immediately that he had torn his Achilles tendon."

The news will come as a devastating blow to Beckham who was hoping to become the first player to appear for England in four World Cup finals.

He will now miss the showpiece in South Africa while there must also be doubts over his career.

The 34-year-old recently joined Milan for a second loan spell from the Los Angeles Galaxy in a bid to prove his fitness to England boss Fabio Capello.

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