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Page last updated at 20:54 GMT, Saturday, 28 March 2009

Beckham reaches new caps landmark

Beckham (right) set up Wayne Rooney for England's second goal
Beckham (right) set up Wayne Rooney for England's second goal

David Beckham became England's most capped outfield player when he made his 109th international appearance in Saturday's friendly against Slovakia.

He came on as a half-time substitute at Wembley to surpass the previous record of 108 caps he shared with Bobby Moore.

Beckham, who became England's second-most capped player in the process, marked his achievement by setting up Wayne Rooney for England's second goal.

Only goalkeeper Peter Shilton, with 125, has made more England appearances.

"Obviously it is a very special occasion for myself, to reach this amount of caps and to be up there just above Bobby Moore," Beckham, who replaced Aaron Lennon, told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"I am very proud of that, but the most important thing was the way we played and the performance we put in.

"Overall, it's a good night for myself but a better night for the team."

England warmed up for their World Cup qualifer with Ukraine on Wednesday by beating Slovakia 4-0 thanks to goals from Emile Heskey, Rooney (2) and Frank Lampard.

After Heskey had put the home side in front after just seven minutes, Rooney headed a second from Beckham's cross on 70 minutes.

"It's what I've done throughout my career," said Beckham, reflecting on his part in the goal. "If I get a chance, there's players like Wayne Rooney, Emile Heskey or Peter Crouch on the end of it. If I can assist in that way, then great."

Rooney hailed Beckham's impact and praised his record-breaking feat.

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"David has set me up for a few goals, so I have to thank him for that," said the Manchester United striker.

"It is a great achievement. All of the players are really pleased for him. You could see how much he is loved by everybody, the players and the fans."

England captain John Terry added his praise for Beckham, saying: "He comes on and always makes the difference - that is the quality he brings to the squad.

"David has determination and fight, and can go on forever. He has given the manager food for thought, that is for sure."

Beckham admitted he would prefer to be in Fabio Capello's team from the start but said he could still play a key role off the bench.

"Substitutes can be very important in the game. We saw that in 1999 with Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer," he said, harking back to Manchester United's spectacular win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final.

"Everybody wants to start for England. If I start, then I start, if I don't, then I'm part of a good team going forward.

"The target is just to play, be involved in every game possible. I have already said I'd love to play in another World Cup - or two - but we will have to wait and see. That is a long way away at the moment."

Beckham joined Serie A giants AC Milan on an extended loan from American outfit Los Angeles Galaxy in a bid to prolong his international career and improve his chances of making England's squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder, will return to Major League Soccer in June for the second half of the season before rejoining Milan in November.



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see also
Beckham's England career in photos
11 Feb 09 |  Football
Injury-hit England call up Bent
28 Mar 09 |  Internationals
England 4-0 Slovakia
28 Mar 09 |  Internationals
International football as it happened
28 Mar 09 |  Internationals
Saturday's football photos
28 Mar 09 |  Football
Beckham reaches England milestone
12 Feb 09 |  Internationals
Beckham hails impact of Capello
16 Oct 08 |  Internationals


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