Injuries have kept Jonathan Woodgate on the sidelines in Madrid, but he is determined to be back this season.
Three Lions star Jonathan Woodgate reckons if there were prizes for working hard to overcome injury he would be world champion!
The England defender has had a difficult time at Real Madrid, having spent his entire time there in the treatment room with a complicated thigh injury.
But the former Newcastle and Leeds man is adamant he will play before the end of the season, even though he has had to postpone his comeback until at least March because of a torn tendon.
Woodgate trains every day in the gym at Madrid's training ground and has a workout that includes weight-lifting, stretching and short spells of running. But he has not been allowed to use a ball so far.
He said: "I am only thinking about the daily work and have not been given a concrete date to be able to play again.
"The really important thing is to strengthen the thigh in my left leg. Sadly I am getting used to this situation after the last few years, but I hope that the bad luck will be over soon.
"If it was down to the work I put in and the sacrifices I make to improve and to play again I would be a world champion!
"But I am adapting perfectly to Spanish life and, if it was not for the injury, I would be happy in Madrid.
"It would mean everything to me to be able to play again this season."
Woodgate's frustration has been made all the more intense because Real have had such a difficult season on the pitch and are crying out for a quality central defender to plug the gaps.
"I won't lie and say I am not envious of my team-mates while they are out on the pitch and I am in the stand," he said. "But I have promised myself that I have to overcome this and I have decided to keep silent about the people who think that I am never going to be back this season."