Applause as Beckham speaks – in Spanish

12th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

12 January 2005, MADRID- David Beckham flashed a nervous smile, looked down at his feet and began. "El partido con Atletico was mucho mejor para todos," he stuttered. The game against Atletico was much better for all of us.

12 January 2005

MADRID- David Beckham flashed a nervous smile, looked down at his feet and began. "El partido con Atletico was mucho mejor para todos," he stuttered. The game against Atletico was much better for all of us.

His first words in Spanish in public since his arrival at Real Madrid last year were greeted with a momentary silence, and then a spontaneous round of applause from the massed ranks of journalists at the club's training ground in Las Rozas, the British daily The Independent reported.

Beckham blushed like an embarrassed schoolboy and continued his analysis of Saturday's 3-0 victory over Atletico. Despite a host of errors he made a pretty good fist of it, and joined the ranks of expats who have experienced the difficulties and pitfalls of learning a new language.

This small gesture was deeply significant for the England captain, a player who has come under severe pressure after a dismal end to his first season in Spain and a string of subdued performances for club and country.

It was a statement of commitment that he is determined to make a success of his new life in the Spanish capital. That commitment was backed up by his words in English too.

"The criticism will always be there," he said. "If you have a bad game your career is finished, or you are too old even though you're only 29. I believe I've still got five or six years left in football and I'm still enjoying it.

"I'm not playing my best, but I suppose the European Championships didn't help with missing a couple of penalties. People said the reason I didn't play was because of personal things in my life, but as far as I am concerned I've just got to keeping work hard."

Beckham poured cold water on reports that he was pining for a return to the Premiership, insisting that his long-term future remained in Spain and that he would gladly accept any offer of an extension to his contract which ends in 2007.

"If I was to extend my contract here I would never complain," he said. "I'm at one of the biggest clubs in the world. It hasn't been mentioned to me yet but I'm very happy here. My team-mates are great to me and they look after me on and off the pitch."

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Subject: Spanish news

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