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Language no bar for Becks

Madrid: David Beckham may not have learned much Spanish yet but the England captain had few problems communicating with his new teammates at Real Madrid on Thursday.

“There’s a universal language of football,” Real’s sporting director Jorge Valdano said at the club’s training ground. “It was just very normal having him here.”

Beckham hooked up with the Real squad on Thursday morning when the players convened for fitness checks ahead of the club’s pre-season tour of the Asia.

David is a quiet player, timid even,” Valdano explained. “There isn’t much difference between having Beckham or (reserve defender) Borja in the dressing room.”

Beckham will be also be able to ask his new teammates a whole lot more after kitting himself out with the latest in mobile phone technology which translates English to Spanish.

Arjun Singh stays on top

Srinagar: Arjun Singh scripted another brilliant performance on Day II of the Rs 18-lakh Kashmir Open to open a commanding three-stroke lead on Thursday.

At the halfway stage in the first ‘major’ of the Hero Honda Indian Golf Tour, the 34-year-old from Delhi dominated the par-72 Royal Springs course for a round of four-under 68. That gave him a two-day tally of nine-under 135, three better than second-placed Jyoti Randhawa, Pappan and Mukesh Kumar.

Uttam Singh Mundy was in fifth place at five-under 139. The best card of the day was submitted by Harmeet Kahlon, who shot a six-under 66.

Fadiga not at risk

Brussels: Senegal winger Khalilou Fadiga has nothing to stop him playing soccer, a cardiologist in Belgium said on Wednesday.

Fadiga signed for Inter Milan from French club Auxerre earlier this month but one of Inter’s consultants said Fadiga, 28, had an abnormal heartbeat which could put his life at risk. His move has been help up pending more tests but cardiologist Pedro Brugada, who saw the player last Friday, said: “There is nothing to prevent him playing football.”

Friendly start for Ronaldinho

London: Barcelona’s new Brazilian signing Ronaldinho will be turning out against Leicester City in a pre-season friendly at the Walkers Stadium on August 8, the newly-promoted Premier League club said on Thursday.

Ronaldinho, who is set to cost Barcelona up to 30 million euros ($34.45 million) after his move from Paris St Germain, is expected to make his debut for the Catalan giants during a tour of the United States over the next fortnight.

Rustu rants at Wenger

London: Turkey goalkeeper Rustu Recber has hit out at Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, accusing him of treating him like a child. The Gunners are desperate to land an experienced keeper after David Seaman’s departure to Manchester City. Rustu was one of the targets, but the deal fell through over a fitness row with the Arsenal manager.

Life ban

Mexico City: Seven South Americans who obtained their Mexican nationality illegally have been banned from playing in Mexico for life, the country’s soccer federation (FMF) announced.

“The (FMF) national council decided they should be denied their affiliation (to play in Mexico) indefinitely,” Victor Garces, president of the FMF’s first division section, told a news conference on Wednesday night.

Sport on screen

Cricket, South Africa’s tour of England:
First Test, Day II live from 3pm on STAR Sports ; Soccer, Premier League: Asia Cup live from 6pm on ESPN;n Soccer: Futbol Mundial from 10am on STAR Sports


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