As David Beckham prepares to make his Champions League debut for Real Madrid tonight,
As David Beckham prepares to make his Champions League debut for Real Madrid tonight, England's captain is already seen by Spanish fans as a worthy member of los galacticos...
David Beckham can do no wrong in Madrid at the moment.
He is even winning the free-kick wars with the legendary Roberto Carlos, with the fans jeering their Brazilian idol when he wasted the first set piece against Valladolid on Sunday - allowing Beckham to take the remaining free-kicks.
The fans applauded his every touch, his 50-yard pinpoint pass for Zinedine Zidane's goal - the fourth - was perfection.
Beckham faces Marseille for his new club in the Champions League on Tuesday already regarded as a vital part of the team by the Madrid fans, even those sceptical when he arrived.
The 7-2 win against Valladolid marked Beckham's coming of age as a Madrid player.
The Beckham no.23 shirt is outselling all the other superstars in the club shop, at the Bernabeu only the name of Raul is spoken with equal reverence.
"You need to have confidence in yourself to play at a club like this," says Beckham, who was pulling the strings in central midfield for his new club.
"It is nice for the manager Carlos Querioz to have faith in me to play in the centre and I would say the last game was my best performance there."
The goalscorers for Real on Sunday reads like a Who's Who of international superstars. Three for Raul, two for Ronaldo, one each for Zidane and Luis Figo.
There were two assists from Beckham and he was given a huge ovation when he applauded all four sides of Madrid's stadium afterwards.
No wonder the team is dubbed Los Galacticos - some of the football they play is indeed out-of-this-world.
Now it is time for the Champions League. Real have won the trophy three times in the last six years and Beckham, a winner himself with Manchester United in 1999, can't wait for Tuesday's game with the French league leaders.
Beckham says: "I am sure there will be an amazing atmosphere. It is only when you get here you realise what major importance the Champions League is to Real Madrid."
The England captain's book My Side was released in 50 countries on Friday.
He says there are a few more chapters - with club and country - he would like to add before his career is over.
"I am 28 and have won a lot of medals but I would like to win more in Spain and another European Cup would be fantastic.
"Another thing I would love to do is win a major competition with England, the country deserves it and the fans deserve it."
David Beckham was speaking to Joe Bernstein