English midfielder David Beckham helped Real Madrid earn a 2-1 win over Real Sociedad by scoring in his return Saturday for the Spanish club.
With his team trailing 1-0, Beckham hit one of his trademark free kicks that bounced on the rain-slicked pitch just in front of goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and into the net in the 37th minute to tie the game.
He was mobbed by his teammates after scoring.
Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy scored Madrid's winning goal in the 48th minute on a header. The victory ended Madrid's two-game losing streak.
Beckham also received a yellow card in the 75th minute for a late challenge on Sociedad forward Savio Bortolini.
Beckham was making his first start for Madrid since Dec. 20. He last played for the club as a substitute in the 2-0 loss at Deportivo La Coruna on Jan. 7.
Last month, Madrid manager Fabio Capello said the midfielder wouldn't play again for the Spanish club after announcing his departure at the end of the season for the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer.
Capello's comments came on the heels of Beckham's announcement on Jan. 11 that he would not extend his contract with Madrid when it expires in June and that he was leaving for Galaxy on a reported five-year, $250-million US contract.
Madrid had offered the former England captain a two-year extension to his current contract, which goes to the end of June.
Madrid mustered a 2-2 without Beckham and was also eliminated from the Copa del Rey, adding pressure on Capello to recall the Englishman.
Beckham is slated to play his first MLS game for the Galaxy against the expansion Toronto FC on Aug. 5 in Toronto, according to the league schedule released earlier this week.