Soccer star Beckham makes televised appeal for help in search for girl missing in Portugal - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Soccer star Beckham makes televised appeal for help in search for girl missing in Portugal

LISBON, Portugal (AP) - Soccer star David Beckham made a televised appeal Friday for help in the search for a 3-year-old British girl who disappeared a week ago while on vacation with her family in southern Portugal.

In footage broadcast on Portuguese television, the Real Madrid soccer star held up a poster with a photo of Madeleine McCann. "If you have seen this little girl please could you go to your local authorities or police and give any information that you have. Any genuine information you have - please, please help us," Beckham said.

Madeleine disappeared on May 3 from a hotel room where she and her family were staying in the Algarve coastal region, a major European holiday destination renowned for its warm climate and picturesque beaches.

Police believe she was abducted while her parents ate dinner in a restaurant in the resort complex.

Two Portuguese soccer players - Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo and Chelsea's Paulo Ferreira - have also appealed for information on the missing child, speaking in English and Portuguese.

Madeleine's parents said Friday they were satisfied police were doing all they could to find their daughter as authorities wound down their search of the local countryside. Gerry and Kate McCann spent most of Thursday at a local police station and said in a statement: "We have now seen at first hand how hard the police are working in the search for Madeleine and their strong desire to find her."

"We are very grateful for all the efforts and offers of support that we have had from home and from around the world. We have been moved by the enormous willingness of people to do all they can to help find Madeleine," it said.

Some 150 police officers and dozens of volunteers have combed the countryside for days. Authorities said some units with sniffer dogs were still deployed but that most of the force had stood down after searching an 80-square-mile area several times.

Detectives were seen Friday checking rooms at the Ocean Club holiday village where the McCanns were staying when their daughter disappeared. Officers at the nearby border with Spain were carrying out spot checks of vehicles.

Madeleine's parents left her and her 2-year-old twin brother and sister alone while they went to a restaurant about 150 feet away. The parents say they checked on the children several times before Madeleine disappeared.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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