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Real boss Capello hails Beckham's scoring return

Published 11/02/2007

David Beckham appears to have done enough to retain his place in the Real Madrid starting XI following a dream comeback against Real Sociedad.

The LA Galaxy-bound former England captain scored a crucial free-kick in last night's 2-1 victory at Real Sociedad, his first match since announcing he would quit the Spanish giants in the summer.

Head coach Fabio Capello, who performed a dramatic U-turn by recalling the 31-year-old after last month insisting he would never play for the club again, hailed Beckham's ``great match''.

After what was only Real's third victory of 2007, the Italian said: ``Over the last few weeks, he has trained well and today he played a great match. Beckham is a player who is very well integrated in the squad and we're all very happy with him. I like to look ahead to the future instead of back to the past.''

Beckham's equalising goal provided another chastening moment for Capello, who had criticised the midfielder's ``efficiency'' from free-kicks.

The Real boss added: ``I spoke with Beckham twice last week and only we know what we said to each other. Regarding my comment about his free-kick efficiency, I said that he had not scored many set-piece goals up to this point. However, he scored an essential goal for us.''

Capello last week denied rumours player power had been behind Beckham's return, which was hailed by team-mates Iker Casillas and Ruud van Nistelrooy, who scored the winner last night.

Goalkeeper Casillas said: ``This game was very special for Beckham. He wanted to prove himself and we're all delighted because it was good for him and for the team.''

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