Krkic flaunts confidence of youth

Barcelona's teenage striker Bojan Krkic had the rest of the Spanish League trembling yesterday when he said he was in the form of his young life and getting better ever day.

"When you have time on the pitch it gives you more confidence," the 18-year-old said as the Catalans prepared to host Sporting Gijon tomorrow. "I am improving every day and all the time playing more naturally."

The Real Madrid winger Arjen Robben has returned to training after a bout of flu and should be fit for the champions' home match against Racing Santander today. Coach Juande Ramos is now without only the injured Guti and Christoph Metzelder and the suspended Fernando Gago as second-placed Real seek to cut the 12-point gap with leaders Barcelona.

The Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti admits that loan signing David Beckham has been far more influential than the club expected as they work to keep the England midfielder for the rest of the season and beyond. Beckham's loan from Los Angeles Galaxy is due to end on 9 March, but Milan are keen to keep him and the 33-year-old former England captain wants to stay in Italy.

"Beckham has expressed his wish," said Ancelotti . "Now we will wait and see. There is time to reach a solution."

Ancelotti believes Beckham has done wonders for his team. "David has not changed Milan's life, because we were competitive before," he said. "But he has given a superior contribution to what we expected. We knew he was a great and serious professional."

The Bayern Munich president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge revealed that Milan had called them as the German club also have a Galaxy player – Landon Donovan – on loan at present.

When Rummenigge was asked about whether Galaxy would allow both players to leave, he said: "I don't know. Milan called us yesterday to ask the same question. I am obviously doubtful that Galaxy will want to be without the two players. But I believe a compromise will be reached."

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