Lampard To Captain England Against Denmark

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) - Frank Lampard was chosen as England's captain for the first time for Wednesday night's exhibition game against Denmark following injuries to Rio Ferdinand and Steven Gerrard.

Ferdinand, England's regular captain, injured a calf muscle while warming up for Manchester United on Saturday. Gerrard, the vice captain, withdrew after developing a groin problem during Sunday's 1-0 win at Chelsea.

Lampard has 20 goals in 83 international appearances. Due to injuries, he has not played for England since an August exhibition against Hungary.

"I'm just a very proud man at the moment," said Lampard, whose only previous time wearing the armband for England was during the second half of a match against Austria in 2007.

"I've been in the squad for a long time and feel like one of the older-stagers now, so it's going to be one of the proudest moments of my career to lead out the boys. I know it's a cliche, but you do grow up dreaming of that moment, and now it's been thrust upon me."

Jack Wilshere, Arsenal's 19-year-old midfielder, was set to make his first start for The Three Lions. He made his debut in the Aug. 11 exhibition, entering in place of Gerrard in the 83rd minute.

"It will be interesting to see some of the younger players. They will be the future," England coach Fabio Capello said.

Arsenal's Theo Walcott is back on the national team after failing to make the World Cup roster. Capello said it was a mistake not to bring Walcott to South Africa.

"But I'm not pointing fingers at anyone," Walcott said. "It was his decision to make and I respected that."

Aston Villa forward Darren Bent and 20-year-old defender Kyle Walker also were included.

Arsenal forward Nicklas Bendtner returns to Denmark's national team for the first time since it was eliminated in the first round at the World Cup.
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