Snubbed Beckham desperate for return to action

David Beckham hopes Real Madrid coach Fabio Capello will allow him to play again for the team.

It's been a month since Beckham was last picked for Madrid as a substitute in the 2-0 loss at Deportivo La Coruna on Jan. 7. He was, however, sidelined for two games through injury.

"I'm having a bad time. I'd like to help the team," Beckham was quoted as saying by sports daily Marca on Thursday. "I'm desperate to play again."

Capello said Beckham wouldn't play again for Madrid as a reprisal for the midfielder's announcement that he would join the Los Angeles Galaxy in August.

Beckham has signed a five-year deal with the Galaxy, reportedly worth more than US$250 million (EUR 193 million). Madrid had offered the former England captain a two-year extension to his current contract, which runs until the end of June.

Capello has indicated a softening of his stance, providing Beckham with some hope of being included in the squad for Saturday's league visit to Real Sociedad.

Beckham has won support from captain Raul Gonzalez and midfielder Jose Maria "Guti" Gutierrez, both of whom have said they would welcome his return to the team, reports AP.

"I'm very grateful to him. It's really nice of him," Beckham said of Guti.

Madrid has won two and lost two league games since Beckham was dropped. It has also been eliminated from the Copa del Rey, adding pressure on Capello for a change of heart.

Madrid is in fourth place in the league with 38 points, five behind leader FC Barcelona. Madrid also plays Bayern Munich in the second round of the Champions League on Feb. 20 and March 7.

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