Goal gives Reyes perfect Bernabeu debut

September 18, 2006

MADRID, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Spain winger Jose Antonio Reyes said scoring on his home debut for Real Madrid in the 2-0 defeat of Real Sociedad on Sunday ranks as one of the happiest moments of his life.

'I couldn't have asked for more,' Reyes told Real Madrid's Web site on Monday. 'I made my debut at the Bernabeu, I scored a goal and the team won the game. It was one of the happiest days of my life.'

The 23-year-old, who had been included in the starting line-up at the expense of David Beckham, set his side on the way to victory with a perfectly struck free kick that arched over the wall and dipped into the corner beyond the reach of Sociedad keeper Asier Riesgo in the 69th minute.

Reyes, who joined Real on loan from Arsenal on the final day of the transfer window at the end of last month, was one of the Real players to impress in a poor first-half display, but he was replaced by Beckham just four minutes after his goal.

Beckham made it 2-0 in injury time when he broke clear from inside his own half after 10-man Sociedad had thrown everyone forward in search of an equaliser.

Reyes admitted that Real had not given a convincing performance in front of their home crowd, but said the important thing was to get points under their belts in the early matches of the season.

'Sociedad came to play with 11 players at the back and it's always difficult to play against teams like that,' he said. 'Any team that comes to the Bernabeu thinks a draw is a good result and that makes it very difficult.

'But we have to look at the positive side of the game. We won and the team showed character.'

Reyes, who made his name at Sevilla before joining Arsenal in January 2004, said he could hardly wait for Real's next match away to the Andalucian club's city rivals Real Betis on Saturday.

'I'm really looking forward to that match and if we approach it in a determined mood then we will win,' he said.

Real are fourth in the Primera Liga, two points behind Sevilla, Barcelona and Valencia who are the only sides left in the division with 100 percent records after three games.

Barcelona, who have made their best start to the season since 1999, host Valencia at the Nou Camp next Saturday.