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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 March 2008, 12:15 GMT
Beckham recalled to England squad
David Beckham
Beckham is hoping to win his 100th England cap
David Beckham has been recalled to the England squad for the friendly with France in Paris on 26 March.

The LA Galaxy midfielder, 32, who has 99 caps, is in a provisional 30-man squad named by coach Fabio Capello.

Arsenal winger Theo Walcott, 19, has been called up for the first time since the 2006 World Cup finals.

Middlesbrough defender David Wheater, Portsmouth's Jermain Defoe and Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor are also included.

But Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick and his club-mate, goalkeeper Ben Foster, miss out along with Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon, who has also been left out of the Under-21 squad.

I have had good reports on him from Franco Baldini, who watched him on Saturday night, and also from his club

Fabio Capello on David Beckham

Capello has picked Portsmouth veteran David James, Villa's Scott Carson and Wigan's Chris Kirkland as his three keepers, meaning there is also no place for Tottenham's Paul Robinson or West Ham's Rob Green.

Beckham was omitted from Capello's first squad, for February's 2-1 friendly win over Switzerland, along with Chelsea duo John Terry and Frank Lampard, who both return after injury.

But the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star was watched by Capello's assistant Franco Baldini in a friendly for LA Galaxy in Dallas at the weekend and obviously did enough to convince the Italians over his fitness.

Capello explained: "I always said that when David was fit he could be in the squad.

"I have had good reports on him from Franco, who watched him on Saturday night, and also from his club. I know a lot about David Beckham and what he can offer the team."

Galaxy general manager Alexi Lalas has no doubts about Beckham's sharpness and told BBC 5 Live: "David has played in all our pre-season games. He is healthy, excited and motivated.

"Every player wants to be called up on merit. As significant as it is to get your 100th cap, this is a situation where Fabio Capello is calling in a great player to help him with the task in hand.

"I can assure everybody that he is injury free and ready to go.

"We hope he stays that way not just for the game midweek for England but through our season which begins the following weekend.

"Hopefully he will get his 100th cap against France then come back to the US and continue with LA Galaxy as we start our season."

Agbonlahor was selected by the Italian for the Switzerland game but was forced to withdraw because of injury.

Theo Walcott and David Wheater are two good young players who have done very well for the Under-21s this season and when I have seen them play for their clubs

Fabio Capello

Walcott's inclusion comes two years after his first and last appearance for England under Sven-Goran Eriksson, when he became the youngest England international.

The Gunners forward told his club's website: "I celebrated my 19th birthday on Sunday so the call-up is a great birthday present for me.

"I am looking forward to meeting up with all of the lads after the weekend's game."

Walcott and Wheater were called up after discussions with England Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce.

Capello explained: "Theo and David are two good young players who have done very well for the Under-21s this season and when I have seen them play for their clubs.

"Stuart Pearce has given me excellent recommendations on both players.

606: DEBATE

"Next week Stuart has a friendly match so it is a good opportunity for us to consider some of the younger players for the senior squad."

Those named in Capello's first 30-man squad in January who miss out this time are Micah Richards and Curtis Davies, both injured, as well as Ledley King, Nicky Shorey, Emile Heskey and Carrick.

There is a keen interest in who Capello will choose as his captain against France.

Liverpool midfielder Steve Gerrard wore the skipper's armband against Switzerland but previous incumbent under Steve McClaren, Terry, was ruled out of that match because of injury.

The squad will be reduced to a final group of 23 players on Saturday night, even though 13 of the players will play on Sunday when Manchester United host Liverpool and Chelsea take on Arsenal.


Provisional squad:
Goalkeepers: James (Portsmouth), Carson (Aston Villa), Kirkland (Wigan)
Defenders: Bridge (Chelsea), A Cole (Chelsea), Johnson (Portsmouth), Terry (Chelsea), Brown (Man Utd), Lescott (Everton), Ferdinand (Man Utd), Wheater (Middlesbrough), Woodgate (Tottenham), Upson (West Ham)
Midfielders: Barry (Aston Villa), Young (Aston Villa), Bentley (Blackburn), J Cole (Chelsea), Lampard (Chelsea), Wright-Phillips (Chelsea), Beckham (Los Angeles Galaxy), Gerrard (Liverpool), Hargreaves (Man Utd), Downing (Middlesbrough), Jenas (Tottenham)
Forwards: Walcott (Arsenal), Agbonlahor (Aston Villa), Crouch (Liverpool), Rooney (Man Utd), Owen (Newcastle), Defoe (Portsmouth).



SEE ALSO
USA to take on England at Wembley
20 Mar 08 |  Internationals
Beckham's England career in photos
20 Mar 08 |  Football
Beckham aims to convince England
16 Mar 08 |  Internationals
Owen fearful of England omission
10 Mar 08 |  Newcastle United
Capello buoyed by England promise
07 Feb 08 |  Internationals
England 2-1 Switzerland
06 Feb 08 |  Internationals


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