David Beckham said he would be honored to win his 100th cap for England in Wednesday's friendly away to France, if selected by manager Fabio Capello, but stressed he didn't want the milestone to mark the end of his international career.
England midfielder David Beckham stretches during a training session in London. Beckham said he would be honoured to win his 100th cap for England in Wednesday's friendly away to France, if selected by manager Fabio Capello, but stressed he didn't want the milestone to mark the end of his international career. [Agencies]
Now playing for US side LA Galaxy, the former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder failed to be included in Capello's first England squad for last month's 2-1 win over Switzerland at Wembley.
But, having been recalled by Capello - his boss at Real - the ex-England captain is keen to play his part in the team's bid to qualify for the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.
"I've enjoyed it, enjoyed being back with the guys and training was great so I am very happy," Beckham told a news conference after a practice session here at London Colney, Arsenal's training ground.
"I never thought a year ago or two years ago that I would make 95 caps, never mind 100. I'm honored that I'm making, hopefully, my 100th appearance in an England shirt but I'm also honored to be doing it against one of the best teams in the world.
"But as much as I'm honored to be here I want it to carry on. It doesn't stop here for me. It's not about 'have your 100th game and then retire'. It's about carrying on trying to play well for my country."
Beckham, who initially found himself sidelined by Capello when the Italian was in charge at Real during the Spanish giants' La Liga-winning season, had no doubt about the new England manager's credentials for reviving the national side's fortunes after their failure to qualify for Euro 2008.
"Obviously I had the pleasure of having him as a manager in my last year at Real Madrid.
"I know what he's like as a manager and as a person and I also know what the coaching staff and people he's surrounded himself with are like.
"We know we have talented players; we know we have ability and we now have a manager who has vast experience in the game.
"We need to get confidence back on the pitch and off the pitch."
(Agencies via China Daily March 25, 2008)