MADRID, Spain -- David Beckham heeded the wishes of his club team, Real Madrid, and did not attend the wedding of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes in Italy on Saturday.
Beckham, who was ruled out of Saturday's league game at Racing Santander with a left knee injury, received Madrid's permission to visit Cruise and his fiancee, Katie Holmes, in Italy on Friday. Beckham's wife, Victoria, attended the wedding, while Beckham watched Madrid's game from the stands.
The team had insisted the 31-year-old midfielder return and work on his fitness before attending the match at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, sports daily AS said.
"He's injured, he hasn't recovered and he has to train," Madrid coach Fabio Capello was quoted as saying.
Asked whether he was aware that Beckham would miss the wedding, Capello seemed unconcerned.
"That's not my problem," he said.
Speculation is mounting that Beckham's three and a half year stay with Madrid will end during the January transfer window.
Beckham, whose contract ends in June, is stalling on Madrid's offer of a new deal due to his lack of first-team opportunities.
Britain's newspapers Saturday said the wedding incident increased the chances of Beckham leaving the club. "Cruising for a bruising," read the front page headline of top-selling daily The Sun, adding that "Becks risks club row for wedding."
"Real Mad" said the Daily Mirror. Its editorial criticized Real Madrid for telling Beckham "to sit in the stands like a naughty little boy."
Beckham, who has started only three games this season, will be free to negotiate with other clubs if he hasn't renewed by January.
Speculation is rife that he could return to the English Premier League or move to a Major League Soccer club in the United States. The Los Angeles Galaxy of MLS is among the clubs reportedly interested.
MLS recently changed its rules on salary caps, which would allow the former England captain to sign a lucrative deal. Beckham has a soccer academy in Los Angeles.
Beckham hasn't won a major trophy with Madrid since his arrival from Manchester United in 2003.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.