No match, only practice for Beckham

David Beckham won't play again for Real Madrid after announcing his departure at the end of the season for the LA Galaxy, coach Fabio Capello has said.

updated: March 22, 2007 06:37 IST
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David Beckham won't play again for Real Madrid after announcing his departure at the end of the season for the Los Angeles Galaxy of the MLS, coach Fabio Capello said on Saturday. "He is not going to play any more. He will practice, but he is not going to play," Capello said at a news conference. Capello faced a difficult decision due to the size and importance of Beckham's deal with the Galaxy. "He is a great professional, but he already has a very important contract with another club," Capello said, explaining the decision to allow Beckham to train with Madrid but not play. Beckham's spokesman Simon Oliveira said the 31-year-old midfielder would "continue to give his full commitment and professionalism to the club". "David is surprised at the quotes from Fabio Capello as nobody from the club has informed him of their intentions," Oliveira said in a statement. "As far as David is aware, he has a contract for the remainder of the season and he remains dedicated to the club and its supporters." Beckham announced on Thursday that he will not extend his contract with Madrid when it expires in June and is instead leaving for Galaxy on a five-year deal that will reportedly be worth a total of $250 million including endorsements. Madrid would not want to contemplate the consequences of a major injury to Beckham while he is still with the club. At the same time, fans at the Bernabeu are unlikely to be happy without a chance to bid one of their "Galacticos" goodbye. Capello looks unlikely to reverse the decision for Beckham not to play again. "The player's decision is to go to Los Angeles. He has always been a great professional, but a player who has such a major contract with another team," Capello said. "We cannot count on him." Capello said he'd not spoken with Beckham since the former England captain announced his new deal. Beckham had joined Madrid from Manchester United in 2003 in a glittering ceremony organised by former president Florentino Perez, who described him as one of the best English players of all time.