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Zenit sign Bart Simpson

The Toe Poke 14 hours ago
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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 9, 2007

Beckham recalled to Real Madrid squad

MADRID, Feb 9 (Reuters) - David Beckham is back in the reckoning at Real Madrid after Fabio Capello reversed his decision to sideline the former England captain and included him in the squad for Saturday's league match at Real Sociedad.

Capello said Beckham's continued professionalism had persuaded him to backtrack on his pledge that the midfielder would never again play for Real following his announcement that he would be joining LA Galaxy at the end of the season.

'We had doubts after he signed such an important contract with the American side,' Capello told 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 always had the full support of his team mates. He has behaved like a great professional and is now returning to the squad.

'I'm counting on him until the end of the season.'

Capello, whose position is under threat 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.

'It was down to Beckham's hard work and attitude. The intelligent thing to do is to correct things when mistakes are made. I spoke with him a week ago and again today. We are very happy and he is too.'

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 team mates including Raul after being given the news of his inclusion in the squad.

The 31-year-old midfielder said earlier this week 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 their 2-0 defeat at Deportivo Coruna on Jan. 7 a few days before announcing he had signed a five-year deal with LA Galaxy worth $250 million.