Beckham says injury will not keep him out of Barça game

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The Independent Online

The Real Madrid midfielder David Beckham insists that he will be fit for tomorrow's La Liga match against Barcelona despite leaving training early yesterday with a back problem.

The England captain was forced out of a practice match and requested treatment from club physios. However, both club and player believe he will be able to play at the Bernabeu.

"It's my back, but I don't think it will be a problem," Beckham said at Madrid's Valdebebas training ground.

A statement on the club website said: "Beckham retired from the training game against Real Madrid C with muscular problems, which an investigation has shown is lumbago. This will not stop him playing at the Bernabeu on Saturday."

Another Madrid player who has been passed fit is the former Barça striker Ronaldo, who has recovered after a month out with an ankle injury.

"I'm feeling good. Ankle problems are difficult for a striker who has to change direction, but I have worked well all week and have recovered the movement I haven't been able to do in the last 20 days," he said. "The recovery was always going to be tight, but we have worked well and got back in the time expected. I am happy about that and looking forward to the game. Now whether or not I play and for how long is down to the coach."

Ronaldo, who suffered a partial ligament tear in his left ankle after scoring twice in last month's 3-0 win over Atletico Madrid, is Real's leading scorer with seven league goals this season.

"It hurts when you can't be there to help the team," he said. "But it's a long season and the important thing is that we are still up there and have a good chance to win this game, earn ourselves more points and then go on to win the league."

Barcelona travel to Madrid as favourites after scoring 18 goals in their past five games, but Ronaldo believes that counts for nothing.

"Every detail or moment of the game can be decisive in a Madrid-Barça clash," he said. "We have to think we have the quality to beat any team in the world. It is a game that is worth three points just like any other and we have to make sure we win it especially as it is at home."

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