Sunday, February 03, 2008

Beckham: I’ll fly world for 100th cap

David Beckham will embark on a 28,000-mile odyssey in a bid to prove his match fitness to England coach Fabio Capello and win his 100th England cap against France next month.

Beckham, left out of Capello's first England squad to play Switzerland on Wednesday because he has not played a competitive game since November, has targeted England's next international friendly in Paris on March 26 for his international return, even though his full season for LA Galaxy will not have begun by then.

To boost his chances of being picked, Beckham will embark on a monumental schedule this month to prove his fitness.

LA Galaxy's pre-season tours alone require him to fly 16,531 miles and cross 18 time zones even before flying from Los Angeles to London to meet up with the England squad, if he is selected.

By the time he hopes to have completed his century of caps, he would have travelled 28,000 miles and crossed 36 time zones.

Beckham's acceptance of such a punishing schedule shows his desire to gain a place in Capello's plans after the disappointment of being omitted from the Italian's first squad.

A source close to Beckham said: "He'll take it on the chin and push on, especially after being assured by Capello that if he is fit and playing well he will be in the manager's thoughts."

Beckham's itinerary indicates the lifestyle he is compelled to undertake in order for the owners of La Galaxy, the Anschutz Entertainment Group, to extract maximum revenue from his marketing status.

Beckham is hoping that Galaxy's five preseason friendlies will play him back into England contention, although Capello is still likely to have reservations about awarding the former captain his 100th cap.

LA Galaxy fly to Hawaii in two weeks to play in the Pan Pacific Championship, where they will play Japanese Cup winners Gamba Osaka in a semifinal, followed by a final or third/fourth place play-off.

Beckham will then fly to South Korea on February 25 as LA Galaxy embark on their Asian tour with games against FC Seoul on the March 1 and then on to Shanghai in China where he will play against the China All-Star Union on March 5.

LA Galaxy then return to pre-season training before participating in a charity match against FC Dallas at the Pizza Hut Park in Texas on March 15.

By then Capello will be ready to announce his second squad and Beckham hopes to have done enough to impress his former Real Madrid boss that he is worth a recall.

England play France at the Stade de France on Wednesday, March 26 — meaning Beckham would have to embark on another gruelling 5,000-mile trip to return to London and meet up with the squad.

He would have to be back in the USA on Saturday 29 March to play LA Galaxy's opening game of the season against the Colorado Rapids at Sporting Goods Park, before returning to LA.

Source: Daily Mail

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