Becks close to 100 English caps

NOT FAR: England's David Beckham celebrates after their match against Austria. Pic. Dominic Ebenbichler. 16/11/07. © Reuters.
NOT FAR: England's David Beckham celebrates after their match against Austria. Pic. Dominic Ebenbichler. 16/11/07. © Reuters.

VIENNA - David Beckham is tantalisingly close to becoming only the fifth Englishman in history to earn 100 caps for his country but claims he is more concerned with the prospect of England missing out on the Uefa Euro 2008 finals.

VIENNA - David Beckham is tantalisingly close to becoming only the fifth Englishman in history to earn 100 caps for his country but claims he is more concerned with the prospect of England missing out on the Uefa Euro 2008 finals.

Beckham played his 98th international game in Friday's 1-0 friendly victory over Austria in Vienna and is expected to earn another cap against Croatia at Wembley on Wednesday.

But he faces the prospect of being stuck on 99 should England fail to qualify for the European Championships because that scenario would almost certainly lead to calls for a fresh approach, regardless of whether head coach Steve McClaren keeps his job or not.

The LA Galaxy midfielder, 32, insists, however, that it is not his primary concern.

He said: "That is not preying on my mind at all. These games are not about David Beckham reaching 100 caps. It is about the team reaching the European finals and that is the most important thing."

Only four England players in history have completed a century of caps. Peter Shilton holds the record with 125 and the only outfield players to achieve the mark are legendary figures Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton and Billy Wright.

If selected, Beckham could join that prestigious group as early as February when England play an as yet unconfirmed friendly against Switzerland - or in March when they to face France in Paris. - Sapa-AFP

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