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Friday, January 25, 2008
Becks deserves to reach century, says Eriksson

Sven-Goran Eriksson has echoed the sentiments of Sir Alex Ferguson in insisting that David Beckham deserves to win his 100th England cap next month.

Manchester City boss Eriksson would even love to have Beckham in his side, but cannot see the 32-year-old midfielder quitting Los Angeles Galaxy to return home.

As far as the immediate future is concerned, Eriksson believes it would be fitting for Beckham to figure in the February 6 friendly against Switzerland at Wembley.

The game will be Fabio Capello's first match in charge but it is not yet known whether Beckham will figure.

Eriksson feels Beckham deserves the chance to achieve such a prestigious milestone in England's football history.

'I would agree 100% with Sir Alex,' said Eriksson, who often steadfastly stood by Beckham during his time as England manager even when the star was not playing at his best.

'He deserves his 100th cap, of course he does, simply for the service he has given.

'I don't want to interfere with Capello, but David deserves to play in the team, and not just because it will be his 100th cap.

'Even if he is in America I think he can still fight for his place in the team, certainly his right foot is no worse than it used to be!'

Eriksson believes Beckham could even surpass Bobby Moore's record as the most-capped outfield player, with England's 1966 World Cup winning captain making 108 appearances.

'I think so, why not?' added Eriksson.

'But then I've not seen him play for a while. The fact the league (Major League Soccer) starts in March is a handicap for him.

'Hopefully he will start by winning his 100th cap. He absolutely deserves that.'

There have been reports linking Beckham with a potential move to Newcastle and working again with another former England manager, Kevin Keegan.

If Beckham did become available, Keegan could find himself in a tussle with Eriksson for his signature.

'I've never thought about that, but if he wants to come here then I would say 'yes, come',' smiled Eriksson.

'But I can't see him coming back to England. I think he will finish his career in the United States.

'He has a long contract and he is very keen to make football more popular in America. If someone can do it, then it is him.

'I remember when we (England) went to America. We were in New York playing a friendly.

'It was a fantastic place. Nobody knows you, and they didn't know anything about football, but everybody knew Beckham, even at that time - amazing.'

First though, Eriksson has an old score to settle with destiny after being deprived of managing an England team at Wembley.

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