Beckham won’t be distracted by emotional United clash

LONDON - AC Milan midfielder David Beckham insists he will be able to cope with the emotions of his first encounter with former club Manchester United in the Champions League on Tuesday.

By (AFP)

Published: Sun 14 Feb 2010, 9:06 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:06 AM

Beckham will face United in a competitive game for the first time since quitting Old Trafford to join Real Madrid in 2003 when the English champions visit the San Siro for the first knockout round first leg.

The 34-year-old, on loan at Milan from LA Galaxy, spent 10 years in Sir Alex Ferguson’s team after emerging from United’s youth academy and won a host of honours including the Champions League and Premier League.

Beckham is a self-confessed United fan and the England midfielder admits it will be quite an occasion to come up against his old friends.

But he is confident he will be able to keep his emotions in check and help Milan in one of the Champions League’s biggest fixtures this season.

“Obviously there will be emotions but I don’t think it will be a problem. I’ve played in many big games,” Beckham told the Sunday Times.

“There has been so much talk about me going back to Manchester United in the second leg, because it will be my first time playing for a club there in seven years.

“But this tie is not just about me playing against United, it’s about AC Milan. It’s about two great clubs coming together, and that’s what makes it such a big game, for the teams, for the fans.”

Beckham believes in-form United striker Wayne Rooney, who has 23 goals this season, is the man his side must stop if they want to reach the quarter-finals.

“I have always thought that Wayne is one of the best goalscorers in football anywhere. He’s proving that,” Beckham said.

“He’s at a great club and doing what he does best, which is scoring goals. United are playing so well for him, too.”

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