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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 August 2005, 01:25 GMT 02:25 UK
Woodgate makes Real Madrid debut
Jonathan Woodgate
Jonathan Woodgate made his first appearance since joining Real Madrid a year ago when he played in a 5-0 win over a Major League select XI.

The 25-year-old, who signed for 13.4m from Newcastle in August 2004, came on as a substitute five minutes from time at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.

He only touched the ball three times but was given a rousing reception.

Woodgate said: "It has been a very hard year for me but finally I have made my debut so I am delighted."

He added: "I need to play a lot more with my team mates but right now I am really pleased.

"I have got to give a big thank you to the fans because I felt the reception they gave me in my heart."

The England defender also won the praise of Madrid coach Wanderley Luxemburgo, who was pleased to see how much the moment meant to Woodgate when he came on to the pitch for Ivan Helguera.

"We were trying to fire him up. We are trying to build a team here and if he looked emotional that is what we wanted," Luxemburgo said.

Woodgate had ended a 16-month injury lay-off last week when he played for Real's youth team.

Madrid have arranged a practice game on Wednesday so he can continue to build up his confidence.

David Beckham scored Madrid's first goal against the Major League team with a free-kick.

Ronaldo also netted twice and Guti and Raul were the other scorers as the American all-star team - coached by former Liverpool and Scotland defender Steve Nicol - were outclassed.

Upbeat Woodgate in Madrid squad
28 Jul 05 |  Europe


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