David Beckham may still play for Real Madrid after manager Fabio
Capello softened his stance on the English galactico appearing for
the Spanish giants before he leaves for California in June.
Capello had called time on Beckham's Real career at the weekend
after the former England captain had signed his $250 million
contract with Major League Series club Los Angeles
But at a press conference on Wednesday the Italian said:
"Beckham is a great professional and is still training with a lot
of motivation. We can change our opinion."
He added: "We can't rule anything out. We'll have to see. The
idea that we had is the one that you know about but one also has to
be flexible from time to time."
Those comments were far removed from Capello's assertion last
Saturday that: "He's not going to play anymore. He can train but
not play. I think you can't play with the same motivation if you
have signed for another team."
Beckham, through his public relations representative Simon
Oliveira, had expressed his shock at his coach's position.
"As far as David is aware, he has a contract for the remainder
of the season and remains dedicated to the club and its
supporters," Oliveira said.
Capello also insisted that out-of-favour Brazilian star Ronaldo
remained a Real Madrid player despite reports that Italian side AC
Milan have made an offer for the striker.
"Regarding Ronaldo, he's training despite a calf problem. He's a
Real player. I see him with the Real Madrid jersey," said
Just as Capello was reopening the Bernabeu door for Beckham on
Wednesday the club's president Ramon Calderon was holding a
clear-the-air meeting with his players.
The tete-a-tete after training was called after Calderon's
verbal onslaught at some of his team to law students on Tuesday was
picked up by a Spanish radio journalist.
In particular he had suggested Beckham was heading off to the
United States to become a "second rate actor", and that Guti, "at
31 was still a junior", and that in general his team wasn't
He later apologised "a thousand times" for his indiscreet
observations on Real Madrid TV.
In a statement Wednesday the club said there was a "mood of
complete sincerity and confidence" after the meeting.
It added: "Those players who wanted to gave their reaction to
the president's opinion."
And a trio of Real captains - Raul, Guti and Roberto Carlos, are
scheduled to talk about the row at a press conference on
Calderon's criticism follows that last week of sporting director
Pedja Mijatovic who intimated that players were turning up to
training smelling of alcohol.
This was later strongly denied by Real keeper Iker Casillas.
Beckham, Ronaldo and Antonio Cassano were however noticeable by
their absence from Capello's side to face Real Betis in the Spanish
Cup on Thursday.
The trio have been omitted due to a "tactical decision," the
club announced on its website.
(China Daily via AFP January 19, 2007)