Beckham recalled to England squad

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London, March 21:  Midfielder David Beckham was named in Fabio Capello's England squad for next week's friendly against France Thursday, putting him in a line for a 100th international cap.

It had looked as though Beckham could be stranded on 99 as Capello omitted him from the squad that beat Switzerland 2-1 in February, but the Italian coach has been convinced of his fitness after sending his assistant Franco Baldini to assess the former captain in a pre-season game for LA Galaxy."I always said that when David Beckham was fit he could be in the squad," said Capello.

"I have had good reports on him from Franco Baldini, 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."

Forwards Theo Walcott and Gabriel Agbonlahor have also been recalled to the squad, while there was a first call-up for Middlesbrough defender David Wheater.

The one surprise omission is the Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick.

Squad: David James (Portsmouth), Scott Carson (Aston Villa), Chris Kirkland (Wigan); Wayne Bridge (Chelsea), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Glen Johnson (Portsmouth), John Terry (Chelsea), Wes Brown (Manchester Utd), Joleon Lescott (Everton), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester Utd), David Wheater (Middlesbrough), Jonathan Woodgate (Tottenham), Matthew Upson (West Ham); Gareth Barry (Aston Villa), Ashley Young (Aston Villa), David Bentley (Blackburn), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Sean Wright-Phillips (Chelsea), David Beckham (LA Galaxy), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Owen Hargreaves (Manchester Utd), Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough), Jermaine Jenas (Tottenham); Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa), Peter Crouch (Liverpool), Wayne Rooney (Manchester Utd), Michael Owen (Newcastle), Jermain Defoe (Portsmouth)

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