Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I'm fit if England call - Beckham

Former England captain David Beckham says he is fit to play in the friendly against Switzerland on 6 February and win his 100th international cap.

The 32-year-old LA Galaxy midfielder is aiming to reach the century landmark to join an elite band of England players.

Beckham has been training with Arsenal for the past month in a bid to prove his fitness to new coach Fabio Capello.

"I'm as fit as I can be. I'm fit and sharp and I'm ready to be selected," Beckham told BBC World in Brazil.

Capello will name his first England squad on Saturday and reports have suggested that Beckham may not be included.

He has been training with the Gunners since the turn of the year as he seeks to join Peter Shilton, Bobby Moore, Sir Bobby Charlton and Billy Wright in an exclusive group who have appeared 100 times for England.

But he has not played for Galaxy since he came on as a second-half substitute in their last Major League Soccer game of the season on 21 October.

And his last competitive game was for England in the defeat against Croatia a month later.

But Beckham is confident he has regained his match fitness.

"Hopefully I've worked hard enough this month to get myself picked in the squad. I've been training with one of the fittest teams in Europe, I've done everything possible to be fit and I'm without doubt ready for it, but it's out of my hands now."

Beckham fell out with Capello during their time together at Real Madrid after announcing his decision to move to America, but he was later restored to the team and helped Real win La Liga.

Beckham believes the Italian can reverse the fortunes of the national side who face friendlies against Switzerland and France on 26 March, before beginning their World Cup qualifying campaign in Andorra on 6 September.

"It's an exciting time for English football and it's special to have someone of his pedigree in charge of the team," said Beckham.

"It has been tough recently but Capello is someone who has lots of drive and winning mentality."

"I was lucky enough to play under him and I know him as a person and as a manager and there are not many people as driven as him."

Former England captain Terry Butcher told BBC Radio 5 Live that he believes Beckham will reach the landmark.

He said: "I think he will reach the 100 caps, he will probably have a cameo role which may come as a substitute.

"It's a great chance for everyone to prove themselves to Capello and there are some young players in his position who would like to impress.

"But it's a great opportunity for the FA and the fans to say thanks to Beckham for all his hard work over the years."

Source: BBCi

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