Champions League

Becks tearful over United tie

2009-12-31 12:14
Emotional clash (File)

Milan - England veteran David Beckham said on Wednesday he was delighted to be back in Milan and looking forward to pitting his wits against former club Manchester United in the Champions League.

"I am happy to be here ... It is great to be back," Beckham told a news conference in Milan as he prepares to begin a second loan spell with AC Milan after ending his latest stint with Los Angeles Galaxy.

"My experience with the club was so special for six months. It was one of the best six months of my career. I miss just being in Milan," said Beckham.

On returning to Old Trafford for the Champions League round of last 16 encounter in February, Beckham said: "I have never returned to Manchester as a player in seven years. It is going to be incredible. It will be an emotional night."

He added that he "almost cried" when hearing that the Italians had drawn the club where he made his name.

But he added he will put his emotions to one side once he is pitchside.

"It is business. We want to win the game."

Beckham, now 34, is hoping that he will recapture the strong form he showed in last year's loan spell with the Milanese as he bids to persuade Fabio Capello to keep faith with him as more than a bit part player for England in the World Cup.

Next summer's finals would be the veteran midfielder's fourth.

At United, Beckham rose to prominence with an exciting, largely home grown crop of players developed under the wing of Sir Alex Ferguson and he won six Premiership titles as well as the 1999 Champions League.

But after joining Real Madrid in 2003 silverware proved harder to come by as the club flopped in Europe, though Beckham did at least sign off with a domestic league title in 2007.

As he looks to impress Milan coach Leonardo of his enduring capabilities, Beckham said he did not expect to be guaranteed a place.

"I am not expecting to start games," said Beckham.

But he insisted he "would really be happy playing everywhere in defence, midfield, in attack or goalkeeper" in order to prove his worth.

"It still doesn't guarantee my place with England. I need to work hard," added Beckham, who said that landing the Scudetto trophy was "my number one wish," while forecasting a tough battle to overhaul Inter and Juventus.

Asked about his long-term Italian plans he would say only that "in the future we'll see, who knows?"

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