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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 March 2008, 06:43 GMT
Beckham 'likely to win 100th cap'
David Beckham
Beckham trained with Arsenal in the winter to boost his fitness
England coach Fabio Capello says David Beckham is in contention to earn his 100th cap in the friendly against France in Paris on 26 March.

He was left out of Capello's first game against Switzerland in February because of a lack of fitness as the season in the United States has not started yet.

Midfielder Beckham, 32, has 99 caps and Capello will have the former captain watched playing for Los Angeles Galaxy.

The Italian said: "There is a strong possibility that he will be selected."

The Major League Soccer season begins on 29 March but LA Galaxy play FC Dallas in a pre-season charity game on 15 March and Capello added that he or a member of his coaching team will be at that match to see Beckham play.

If you play with fear, it is impossible to win

England coach Fabio Capello

Capello was speaking at a specially arranged gathering of representatives of the supporters club, England fans, where he spoke in English in public for the first time.

The former Real Madrid coach also said he had yet to make up his mind on who should be the England captain on a permanent basis.

"It is very important to choose someone for the World Cup qualifiers, which start in September," he admitted.

"But I have to know the man, not only the player. It must be not only a big player but a symbol - a good player, a good man, who represents the England team in every situation."

Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard was given the role against Switzerland, with previous incumbent John Terry then injured.


Capello, who saw his side beat the Swiss 2-1 in his first game at Wembley, conceded he needs to bolster the confidence of his players after their failure to qualify for Euro 2008.

"We must regain a winning mentality, there are some players who are short on confidence when playing for the national team," he stated.

"The winning mentality is very, very important - if you play with fear it is impossible to win."

Capello's first competitive game in charge of England is the 2010 World Cup qualifier against Andorra on 6 September.

Beckham set up a goal but left the field early with a minor injury as the Galaxy, who are on an Asian tour, eased to a comfortable 3-0 victory over Shanghai-Hong Kong United in Shanghai this week.

Carlos Ruiz scored all three goals but Beckham was substituted in the 70th minute as a precaution after he took a knock to his right thigh, although the injury is not thought to be serious.

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