LONDON, England -- David Beckham has been recalled to the England squad and is set to win his 100th cap in the prestige friendly international against France next Wednesday.
Beckham has been working hard on his fitness in the close season in the hope of an England recall.
New England coach Fabio Capello left the football icon out of his first match against Switzerland, citing his lack of match fitness, but has relented for the testing match at the Stade de France against the 2006 World Cup runners-up.
Beckham, 32, takes his place in an initial 30-strong squad which will be whittled down to 23 after this weekend's Premier League matches.
Arsenal youngster Theo Walcott also wins a recall to the senior squad while Middlesbrough defender David Wheater is a surprise inclusion.
Chelsea's John Terry and Frank Lampard, who both missed the Switzerland win, are included after recovering from injuries, but there is no place for Manchester United's highly-rated young goalkeeper Ben Foster.
Beckham was back in action for his Major League Soccer side Los Angeles Galaxy against Dallas in a pre-season friendly last week, but, if selected, will go into the match with no competitive action under his belt since last autumn.
But Los Angeles Galaxy president and general manager Alexi Lalas insisted Beckham is fit and "ready to go". "He's a great player and I think he would help any national team in the world," said Lalas.
Beckham's 99th cap came on as a substitute in England's Wembley defeat to Croatia which saw them eliminated from Euro 2008 and led to the sacking of Steve McClaren to be replaced by Capello.
The Italian was Beckham's club manager at Real Madrid, dropping the midfielder when news of his money-spinning move to the Galaxy became public.
But he later recalled Beckham, who played a major role as they claimed the Spanish title at the end of the 2006-07 season.
Beckham's on-off England career looked over after the 2006 World Cup when he was dropped by then new coach McClaren, but he was recalled in an attempt to rescue a floundering Euro 2008 qualifying campaign.
Provisional England squad to face France on March 26:
James (Portsmouth), Carson (Aston Villa), Kirkland (Wigan); Bridge (Chelsea), A Cole (Chelsea), Johnson (Portsmouth), Terry (Chelsea), Brown (Man United), Lescott (Everton), Ferdinand (Man United), Wheater (Middlesbrough), Woodgate (Tottenham), Upson (West Ham); Barry (Aston Villa), Young (Aston Villa), Bentley (Blackburn), J Cole (Chelsea), Lampard (Chelsea), Wright-Phillips (Chelsea), Beckham (LA Galaxy), Gerrard (Liverpool), Hargreaves (Man United), Downing (Middlesbrough), Jenas (Tottenham); Walcott (Arsenal), Agbonlahor (Aston Villa), Crouch (Liverpool), Rooney (Man United), Owen (Newcastle), Defoe (Portsmouth) E-mail to a friend