The Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy will miss the remainder of the Spanish football season after having surgery on his injured right knee.
The 32-year-old Dutchman had an operation in the United States this week and has been told he needs between six and nine months to recover.
Van Nistelrooy had surgery on the same knee eight years ago.
In other football news, Celtic have been fined 50,000 euros ($112,000) by UEFA for the improper conduct of their supporters during last week's 1-1 Champions League Group E draw with Manchester United in Glasgow.
The UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body fined the Scottish club in relation to a pitch invasion by a spectator and the delayed kick-off at the match.
Clarence Seedorf says his AC Milan team-mates are relishing the prospect of playing alongside David Beckham when the England midfielder joins them for a short-term loan in January.
The Dutch midfielder told an Italian sports website that Milan's players are all excited to have Beckham there to train and work with them.
The Los Angeles Galaxy player is moving to Milan to keep up his fitness during the United States close season and stay in contention for an England squad place.
And world champions Italy will play Brazil on February 10th in a friendly at London's Emirates Stadium, the home of Premier League club Arsenal.