Beckham plays down injury scare

David Beckham picked up a groin strain as Real Madrid snatched a 1-1 draw from Villarreal but is confident of being fit for the match against Macedonia.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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England captain David Beckham picked up a groin strain as Real Madrid snatched a 1-1 draw away to Villarreal but he is confident he will be fit for Saturday's Euro 2004 qualifier against Macedonia. "I don't think it's going to be a problem," said Beckham. "Hopefully, it should clear up by Saturday so fingers crossed it'll be alright." A below-strength Real struggled at modest Villarreal who took the lead through a brilliant finish by Villarreal's Brazilian debutant Sonny Anderson with a volley over the head of Real keeper Iker Casillas with 19 minutes remaining. Second half sub Antonio Nunez, making his first senior start for Real, headed in a Beckham corner with five minutes remaining. Beckham also forced the Villareal goalkeeper into two fine saves from rasping free-kicks. Real, without Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos on World Cup duty for Brazil, saw French star Zinedine Zidane limp off after 25 minutes with an injured right ankle, giving way to Santiago Solari. Real, who have sold hard-tackling midfielder Claude Makelele to Chelsea and failed to sign a new defender in the close season, also lost key defender Ivan Helguera with a knee injury in the last seven minutes. Zidane, who had expected to join the French squad today for Saturday's Euro 2004 qualifier at home to Cyprus, had almost given Real the lead in the 17th minute but his header from a Beckham cross shaved the post. (PTI)