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Real Madrid defender Jonathan Woodgate has paid tribute to the doctor who helped him through his long injury nightmare.

Woodgate embraced Dr Alfonso Del Corral after scoring in Real’s 4-1 Champions League win over Rosenborg.

“I saluted the fans and then I ran to the dugout to jump on Dr Del Corral because it has been hard for me and him over the last year. Its great to put all that behind me,” said Woodgate.

“He worked so hard to help me recover and I had to make sure he got the credit he deserves. I am happy, it was a good game and the goal was important for the team.

“Dr Del Corral is my friend, I ran over and gave him a hug because I like him a lot.

“He helped me in the bad times and it was great to be able to celebrate with him,” added the central defender.

Woodgate tore a thigh muscle in April 2004, and spent over a year regaining fitness after seemingly endless complications delayed his comeback.

His debut turned into a nightmare as he scored an own goal and was sent off but last night’s goal perhaps marked a turning point in his rehabilitation.

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