Capello denies player power forced Becks recall

February 9, 2007

Fabio Capello has rubbished suggestions player power is behind David Beckham's surprise recall to the first-team squad at Real Madrid.

The former England captain was today named in the squad for tomorrow's Primera Liga match against Real Sociedad, the first time head coach Capello has picked him since Beckham announced he will leave in the summer to join Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy.

Capello declared at the time Beckham would not play for the club again, but has since softened that stance with the club struggling for form.

However, the Italian refuted rumours that senior squad members had pushed for Beckham's reinstatement.

'The only thing has influenced me has been Beckham's work and attitude,' Capello said.

'I have spoken with him and he is very happy, as we are.'

Capello admitted he was sceptical over Beckham's commitment to the Madrid cause following his decision to see out his contract and agree a five-year deal with the Galaxy, which reportedly could be worth up to £128million.

'We had doubts after he signed such an important contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy that he could play and train with the same desire,' Capello said.

'This week he has taken part in training perfectly. He has always had the support of his team-mates, the only doubts we had were about his desire.

'He has behaved like a great professional and he returns to the squad.'

Capello's decision represents a remarkable U-turn from his and sporting director Predrag Mijatovic's previous stance, which both appeared to be sticking to earlier in the week.

When asked if Beckham should have been involved for last Sunday's defeat to Levante, Capello said: 'He [Beckham] has been here three years and the results have not been good.

'We are trying a new line-up, and I am waiting for important players [to return from injury]. I am convinced by my decisions. For example, he played against Depor and we lost.'

While Mijatovic said on Monday: 'Beckham has been a great professional these years, but he has decided to leave for another team.

'Now we want to give more opportunities to the younger players so they have more minutes.'

However, Beckham has had support from within the Madrid side, with one of the team's three captains, Guti, stating this week he would like to see the former Manchester United star return to the side.