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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 January 2006, 14:57 GMT
Woodgate aims for World Cup place
Jonathan Woodgate
Jonathan Woodgate has fought against a succession of injuries
Real Madrid defender Jonathan Woodgate is not ready to give up on his World Cup dream and has set his heart on getting into the England squad.

After missing the whole of last season with a thigh injury, the 26-year-old former Newcastle defender still thinks he can make the plane to Germany.

He said: "I've got hopes of getting there but I'm concentrating on playing for Real Madrid.

"There are a lot of good centre-halves so it's going to be tough."

Woodgate was set to return to the England squad for the friendly against Argentina in November but had to withdraw after pulling his hamstring.

He played his first La Liga match for three weeks in Sunday's 2-1 victory over Celta Vigo after a calf strain.

He said: "Real is the most important thing at the moment because this was the club that stood by me through thick and thin.

"I'm desperate to repay them and I want to try and play for Real as much as possible.

"If I don't play for them then I have got no chance of going to the World Cup."

Woodgate, who signed for Madrid for 13.4m in August 2004, has made only five England appearances since his debut against Bulgaria in 1999.


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