Beckham back in action for Real
Capello backtracks on ban of former England captain
Posted: Friday February 9, 2007 9:17AM; Updated: Friday February 9, 2007 10:27AM
MADRID, Spain (Reuters) -- David Beckham's extended spell on the sidelines at Real Madrid came to an end on Friday when he was included in the 20-strong squad for the team's league match at Real Sociedad.
Real coach Fabio Capello said Beckham's continued professionalism had persuaded him to backtrack on his decision that he would never again select the former England captain following his announcement that he would be joining the Los Angeles Galaxy at the end of the season.
"We had doubts after he signed such an important contract with the American side," Capello said in a news conference at Real's training base in Valdebebas.
"We doubted he could train with the same enthusiasm after that, but he has been training perfectly. He has the full support of his teammates. He has behaved like a great professional and is now returning to the squad.
"I spoke with him a week ago and again today. We are very happy and he is too."
Capello, who is under fire after back-to-back defeats in the league, said that the decision was his own and that he had not been pressured by either the players or the club's directors.
Club captain Raul, midfielder Guti and several other first-team players had come out in support of Beckham in recent weeks saying he should continue playing until the end of his contract.
Beckham was embraced by several teammates including Raul after being given the news of his inclusion in the squad.
The 31-year-old midfielder said earlier this week that he was desperate to play for Real again. "It is very hard for me because I would like to help the team," he told sports daily Marca.
"I'm desperate to play again ... I don't know if I will but I've got to keep on training. I want to leave this club on a high."
Spanish media have pointed to the fact that other players such as Barcelona's Javier Saviola and Valencia's Roberto Ayala, whose contracts also terminate at the end of the season, are still playing for their respective clubs.
Beckham's last appearance for Real was when he came on as a substitute in its 2-0 defeat at Deportivo Coruna on Jan. 7 a few days before announcing he had signed a five-year deal with the Galaxy worth $250 million.
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