David Beckham scored on his return to Real Madrid's starting line-up in the 2-1 win over Real Sociedad on Saturday. The 31-year-old equalised with a 25-yard free-kick in the 37th-minute of his first start since 20 December.
Madrid coach Fabio Capello had vowed Beckham would not play for Real again after he last month agreed to a lucrative move to Los Angeles Galaxy.
But Capello had a change of heart this week, saying he had been impressed with Beckham's professionalism in training.
The verdict from the Spanish media was that Beckham's goal had helped saved the former Juventus boss from dismissal after two consecutive defeats.
"Beckham spares the life of his executioner," was newspaper Marca's headline.
Ruud van Nistelrooy, another ex-Manchester United star, scored the second-half winner in a victory that lifts Real into third place in the Primera Liga.
"I am happy that Beckham scored," said Capello. "All the team is happy for him.
"I have spoken with him twice in the course of the last two weeks and what we said will remain just between us.
"He played a great game and deserves the credit. As I said before, the mark of an intelligent person is one who knows how to rectify his mistakes."
Van Nistelrooy also heaped praise on his former Old Trafford colleague.
He added: "Beckham has been fantastic, his attitude has been brilliant.
"When you go for a month without playing it isn't easy to be at your best but he always trains hard and has a very positive attitude.
"That's why you can always bet on him. It was a great day for him."
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