MADRID: Fears that England captain David Beckham would have to compete with Luis Figo for a place in the Real Madrid team next season have been dispelled by new Real coach Carlos Queiroz.
Queiroz, Beckham's coach at Manchester United where he was deputy to Alex Ferguson, is considering switching Beckham to central midfield so Figo can continue on the right-hand side.
Beckham was used on the right by United manager Alex Ferguson.
When people ask me whether having Luis Figo and David Beckham in the same team means one of them will sit on the bench, then I say that will only happen when one of them is injured or out of form, Queiroz said Thursday.
He believed Beckham had the skill and stamina to play in central midfield.
David is a brilliant professional, the type of guy who didn't miss one training session while I was at United. He is born to run and I say that because it's as if he's addicted to training and working, making himself fitter and stronger. I like that ethic.
Queiroz admitted he might have to cope with player-power at Real where sacked coach Vincente Del Bosque was believed to let the players have the final say on training and tactics.
More important than David, are the solutions that Real Madrid will look for concerning their senior players and the harmony that we will create in this team, Queiroz said.
Beckham, currently on a promotional tour of Asia, will receive the kind of reception and security cover usually reserved for royal or presidential visits when he arrives in Madrid next Wednesday.
The England captain will be flown into El Torrejon, a military airport once used by the US Airforce, so that he can be met by a car on the runway. He will then be whisked away by police escort to the Bernabeu for his medical.
Real Madrid used a similar procedure to bring Ronaldo to the club last year. As with the Brazilian striker, Beckham's medical will be filmed by Real Madrid TV and the live rights auctioned off to the highest bidder.
Japanese television companies are understood to have expressed the most interest.
Following his medical, Beckham will be presented to the fans at an as yet undisclosed location, with the club hoping to attract 90,000 paying customers. The ceremony will take place in Spanish, English and Japanese. AFP