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By ESPN Staff

Real directors sidelined Beckham - Capello

MADRID, Aug 22 (Reuters) - The decision to banish David Beckham from the Real Madrid first team after he announced he would be joining LA Galaxy was made by the club's directors, former coach Fabio Capello has revealed in an interview.

'The decision was taken because the club management said that he had negotiated with them having already agreed a contract with Los Angeles,' Capello told Spanish sports daily Marca on Wednesday.

'They said that they couldn't count on a player that wasn't going to remain at the club.'

Capello said he had initially decided to stand by the club's decision.

'When I work I always wear the club shirt and defend the club in every way I can.'

But a month later the Italian recalled Beckham, who went on to play an important part in helping the club win its first league title in four years.

Capello, who was sacked by Real less than two weeks after steering the team to the title, said he felt let down by both club president Ramon Calderon and sporting director Predrag Mijatovic.

'Mijatovic lied to me and (assistant coach) Franco Baldini, who had a very important offer from another team. He said: 'you will stay here, we will all be staying here'.

'I never heard anything from him (Calderon). He has never called me... I think I deserved some respect from someone who came to get me from Italy, someone I helped to win the elections and succeed as president.'

Capello said he was aware the club had been trying to recruit Bernd Schuster as his replacement but believed that winning the league would keep him in the job.

'What hurt me most was that they appointed me to do a serious, tough and difficult job and we had a very difficult dressing room to deal with. There were many conflicting groups and each one had its leader who blamed the others when things weren't going well.

'But we pulled the team together, recovered the team spirit and they played with great enthusiasm and belief.'

Asked if Calderon and Mijatovic were happy that he had steered the team to the title, Capello replied: 'Well, they didn't seem to be as pleased as the others.'