Beckham set for Real return

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David Beckham was last night recalled to the Real Madrid squad, and his first task may be to rescue the man who vowed to leave him in the shadows until he departed for America.

Beckham's inclusion in the party for today's La Liga match at Real Sociedad comes after Fabio Capello said he would never pick him again. The coach said then he did not believe Beckham could be committed to Real after agreeing to join Los Angeles Galaxy in June, but yesterday he said: "He has behaved like a great professional."

Capello dismissed claims that Beckham's team-mates had influenced the decision. More telling may be results. Madrid lie fourth, five points behind leaders Barcelona, and it is reported that Michel, the former captain now coaching the reserves, will be made caretaker if they lose today.

Real's need to improve if they are to catch Barcelona was underlined by the news that Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto'o and Lionel Messi had trained together for the first time since September. All could feature against Racing Santander tomorrow.

Seville, in third, hope to recall Frédéric Kanouté for the derby with Real Betis.