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Monday, 17 June, 2002, 07:43 GMT 08:43 UK
Beckham shrugs off injury fear
David Beckham stretches his hamstrings during training on Sunday
Beckham has been working hard on his fitness
BBC Sport Online's chief football writer Phil McNulty, in Japan

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England captain David Beckham has dismissed fears he would not be fit for the World Cup quarter-final - insisting he will definitely play and is ready for another 90 minutes.

Beckham sparked a scare by admitting he was still getting pain from his broken foot in the closing stages of the 3-0 win against Denmark in the last 16.

And there has been speculation that the Manchester United star would not be in condition to last the full game against either Brazil or Belgium in Shizuoka on Friday.

Monday's Daily Express quoted medical specialists who warned that the signs of Beckham struggling against Denmark did not bode well for his quarter-final chances.

But Beckham has revealed the discomfort he felt on Saturday was brought on by using screw-in studs as opposed to moulded boots for the first time in the World Cup.

He said: "I will be fit to play against whoever we get in the quarter-final and I'm looking forward to getting another 90 minutes in.

"My foot was aching a bit in the game against Denmark, but that was because I had worn studs for the first time in the competition.

David Beckham feels his left foot during the win over Denmark
Beckham's foot causes him problems against Denmark

"It was a case of getting used to them and that was why I was getting a bit of cramp in my foot. I am fine."

Beckham believes there is more to come from England as they stand just three games from writing themselves into football history.

He said: "I am not going to sit here and tell you we are going to win the World Cup, but I will say that the expectations of this team are very high.

"We are trying to keep to those expectations every time and I think we are doing that now.

"We are not getting carried away. When we got through the group stage the celebrations were not over the top, and when we beat Denmark we were happy and shook each other's hands - then looked to the next game.

"We were not celebrating because we wanted to start getting ready for the quarter-final right away.

"We are only in the quarter-finals, but hopefully we have got three very tough games to come. We are happy to be in the last eight, but we want to go further.

"People said the odds were against us because we were in the 'Group of Death' and then people said we wouldn't have a chance if we got through because we would face France, who were the world champions.

"They are not here any more and there have been a lot of shocks, and there may well be more before the World Cup is over."


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GROUP F
  P GD PTS
SWEDEN 3 +1 5
ENGLAND 3 +1 5
ARGENTINA 3 0 4
NIGERIA 3 -2 1

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