Beckham prepares for competitive debut as Real seek to avenge bogey side Mallorca in Super Cup

La Liga does not kick off until next weekend, but the Spanish season - and David Beckham's competitive Real Madrid career - gets under way tomorrow. The league champions take on the cup winners, Real Mallorca, for the season's first silverware, the Super Cup. The first leg is at Mallorca's Son Moix stadium.

Beckham admitted that his first Real game on Spanish soil, against Valencia in a pre-season friendly, "could hardly have been worse", although none of his team-mates excelled either. The club's draining three-week tour of Asia was partially blamed, but no such excuses will be accepted this weekend. Mallorca were Real's bogey team last season, beating them 5-1 on aggregate in the King's Cup and by the same scoreline in the league at the Bernabeu in May.

Revenge via a dazzling display this weekend, even over a Mallorca side which has seen several key departures in the summer, would be sweet indeed. Mallorca are now under the managerial control of the former Boavista coach, Jaime Pacheco. Although they have lost the services of midfielders Alvaro Novo and Albert Riera, the prolific centre-forward Walter Pandiani and the defender Federico Lussenhoff, they can still field Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o up front alongside the new signing Arnold Bruggink.

With Italy's Serie A due to start next weekend, the other major European league action will be in France and Germany, where Lille and Bayer Leverkusen, respectively, have 100 per cent records after three games.

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