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Beckham called up for England friendly

  • AFP, Thursday, March 20, 2008 5:45 PM
David Beckham has been called up for England's friendly against France at the Stade de France next Wednesday, putting him on track to earn his 100th England cap. New England coach Fabio Capello did not call up Beckham for England's first friendly of the year against Switzerland in February, but Capello's assistant Franco Baldini watched Beckham in a friendly for the Los Angeles Galaxy at FC Dallas last Saturday and did enough to convince the Italians that he is fit enough to play.

"I have had good reports on him from Franco Baldini, who watched him on Saturday night, and also from his club," said Capello. "I know a lot about David Beckham and what he can offer the team."  Beckham is not expected to dislodge Blackburn's David Bentley from the starting lineup, though.

Capello has also recalled Arsenal teenager Theo Walcott nearly two years after he won his one and only cap as England's youngest ever player, and handed Middlesbrough defender David Wheater a first international call-up.  Chelsea's John Terry and Frank Lampard, who both missed Capello's first match, are also in the 30-man provisional squad after recovering from injuries.

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