FOOTBALL: New Wales Speed Record; ITALY V WALES, SAN SIRO,MILAN,TONIGHT, 7.45PM
Byline: MARK CURRIE
CAPTAIN Gary Speed will equal the record number of Wales caps for an outfield player when he leads out his team-mates in the San Siro stadium this evening.
But the Deeside-born utility player, who will be 34 on Monday, said yesterday that matching Dean Saunders' 75 caps was of little interest to him for as long as he continues to play at the highest level.
In forthright fashion,he declared: ``I'm not bothered how many caps I've got at the moment because that's something I'll look back on when I've retired.
``I just want to get three points tomorrow.That's all that matters.''
Speed, who also holds the record for the most Premiership appearances during a career with Leeds,Everton and Newcastle, was equally dismissive of the suggestion that a win or a draw tonight would be an early birthday present.
``A good result would be great for everyone.It's a team effort so I won't be taking any personal glory,''he added.
But he conceded that the current campaign, which sees Wales at the top of Group Nine, two points ahead of the Italians, represents his last chance of playing in the final stages of a European Championship,although he has not yet ruled out another crack at the World Cup.
``In my time I've been jealous when I've seen team-mates going off to a major finals, so hopefully we can grasp this opportunity with both hands,''he said.
``We haven't achieved anything yet but we are confident we can reach our goals, which means getting to the finals in Portugal next summer.
``This is certainly my last chance as far as the Europeans are concerned, but that's as far as it goes for the moment.
``When and if my body tells me I've had enough,I'll consider what to do but I'm certainly not going to be making any decisions like that ahead of this game tomorrow. …