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Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has criticised Newcastle for Jonathan Woodgate’s failure to overcome a thigh injury.

Real signed the England international in August, but he has yet to make his debut for Los Merengues due to suffering a relapse of his injury.

Perez claims Newcastle rushed Woodgate back too quickly after he first picked up the knock in a game against Chelsea at the end of last season.

“The information we have demonstrates that he did not properly recover at Newcastle because they forced his recuperation to try and get him fit for the European Championships,” he told AS.

“We have consulted the five or six best doctors in the world on this matter. We are going to do what they have told us.

“Until January, Woodgate will not play.

“After what has happened, it’s better to be sure that he has recovered properly, and he will not come back until the second half of the season.”

Perez also took the opportunity to praise Woodgate’s England colleagues in Madrid, David Beckham and Michael Owen.

“Beckham has been exemplary, this year and last,” he continued.

“He is a very powerful player from a commercial point of view and, as he was something of a novelty, he was put under pressure which was hard to bear.

“But I insist that his behaviour has been exemplary.”

On Owen, he added: “Yes, he has come to compete for a place in a forward-line where the best players in the world are.

“At the beginning it took him a while to adapt, which is logical, but every day he is becoming less inhibited, more like his real self.”

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