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Beckham set to equal record

February 10, 2009 17:44 IST

David Beckham will equal Bobby Moore's outfield record of 108 England caps if he plays in the friendly with Spain, one of a number of mouthwatering international clashes this week.

Diego Maradona takes charge of Argentina for the second time when Lionel Messi will be unleashed on the French in Marseille while world champions Italy face Brazil in London and Germany welcome Norway in another friendly.

Three European World Cup qualifiers take place including Ireland against Georgia while 2010 hosts South Africa get another chance to fine tune their stuttering side when they play Chile at home on Wednesday.

Beckham, brought back into the England squad after impressing during his loan spell with AC Milan, could start for an injury-hit but in-form England in Seville on Wednesday.

The 33-year-old mainly came back to Europe to boost his chances of playing in a fourth World Cup and the gamble has paid off so much that he is now keen to leave Los Angeles Galaxy permanently and sign for Milan.

"David is very fit now and this is important," England coach Fabio Capello told reporters.

If the midfielder plays against the European champions, who hope Fernando Torres will be fully fit, he will still have a long way to go to beat goalkeeper Peter Shilton's full England appearance record of 125 caps.

Italy coach Marcello Lippi is also chasing a landmark against Brazil later on Tuesday.

He will set a world record of 32 international matches without defeat over his two spells in charge if Italy do not lose to Dunga's team, who are without the injured Kaka.

Arsenal's Emirates Stadium will be bereft of one great South American but those at Marseille's Stade Velodrome will be able to witness the magic of Messi on Wednesday.

Argentina won 1-0 in Scotland in Maradona's first game at the helm in November but Raymond Domenech's outfit will be a much tougher opposition, especially given the form of playmaker Yoann Gourcuff -- already being compared to Zinedine Zidane.

Germany coach Joachim Loew has recalled captain Michael Ballack and midfielder Torsten Frings for the Norway game after having a public dispute over tactics with the pair last year.

His Portugal counterpart Carlos Queiroz, whose side have struggled in World Cup qualifying, has named three debutants in his squad to play Finland in Faro on Wednesday.

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