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Forward hopes to be fit for Japan match

Sunderland striker Darren Bent has maintained that making the final 23-man England squad for the 2010 World Cup would be the "greatest achievement" of his career.

The 26-year-old missed the recent international friendly against Mexico - a 3-1 victory at Wembley - owing to a groin problem. But it is believed that the hitman will be fit enough to play a part against Japan on Sunday.

"It would probably be the greatest achievement of my life!" Bent told Match! magazine, when quizzed about what it would mean to be a part of the final squad that will travel to South Africa.

"I always used to watch the World Cups when I was young and I loved watching the matches and the great players! To be involved in that for England would be something special!"

There has been talk of how many strikers manager Fabio Capello will take to the showpiece event on the African continent, and Bent believes this has only contributed to bringing out the best among forwards vying for a spot in the final 23-man squad.

Having scored 24 goals this season, the Black Cats' striker recalled an incident during the game against Tottenham Hotspur, which his side went on to win 3-1.

"As strikers you always want to score more goals than anyone else!" he said. "Jermain Defoe and I are good mates, but we haven't had much chance for too much banter this season. But I remember when we played them at The Stadium of Light he said to me, 'Hey stop scoring! I'm trying to catch you!' so that was pretty funny!"

Match! magazine, out now.

No trip to South Africa is complete without a visit to its most beautiful and sunniest city. Durban offers much more than sandy beaches, safaris, casinos and the World Cup, for information on what to do and see, please click here.

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