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12 Feb 2009 12:20
David Beckham was honoured to equal Bobby Moore’s record for most appearances by an England outfield player on Wednesday, but stopped short of drawing any comparisons to the football great.
“As a young kid growing up and looking up to the likes of Sir Bobby Charlton, Billy Wright and Bobby Moore—there’s some outstanding players—and never in your dreams do you imagine being up there and having the same amount of caps,” Beckham said following England’s 2-0 defeat to Spain.
“It’s a young boy’s dream to do that. I’m just very honoured to be mentioned in the same breath as [Moore].
It doesn’t get much better than this.”
Beckham replaced Stewart Downing in the 46th minute of the friendly for his 108th appearance for England, second only to Peter Shilton’s 125 in goal.
“You can’t [compare] because at the end of day Bobby Moore won the World Cup and he’s an icon around the world and around England,” the 33-year-old midfielder said.
Beckham, who began his career at Manchester United in 1992, made his England debut against Moldova in August 1996 and has since played at three World Cups and two European championships.
Reaching the milestone in Spain was extra special for the former Real Madrid midfielder.
“The fans have always been great to me. To reach 108 here and to get the record in Spain, especially after so many great years here [is great],” said Beckham, who has scored 17 times during his England career and been on the winning side 62 times, with 21 losses.
Beckham can move clear into second in caps should coach Fabio Capello recall him for the World Cup qualifier against Ukraine on April 1, and on home soil too. But that, and a spot on the Italian coach’s roster at South Africa next year, are far from decided.
“I’m taking each game as it comes because it’s never easy,” Beckham said. “Hopefully it continues but I also enjoy playing my club football, we’ll have to wait and see.”
Beckham moved from the Los Angeles Galaxy to AC Milan on loan in January to keep up his chances of playing for England under Capello.
Now, the Serie A club has until Friday to conclude a permanent deal for Beckham if he hopes to continue playing at San Siro beyond his loan spell, which ends on March 8.
“I hope I can stay in Milan first and then we’ll have to wait and see,” said Beckham. “Obviously everyone wants it sorted out as quickly as possible because it’s been going on for a while now.”
Unfortunately, Spain’s form—their 19th straight win stretched their unbeaten run to 29 games—didn’t provide the fairy tale ending.
“Obviously disappointed,” he said, “but we knew it was going to be a tough test against the European champions.”—Sapa-AP
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