Milan’s Beckham set for reunion with Utd

Seven years after leaving Manchester United, David Beckham faces

the team that turned him into a global star for the first time when

AC Milan hosts the three-time winners in the Champions League.

The England midfielder, who never faced United during four

seasons at Real Madrid, will get the opportunity during a second

loan spell at Milan from the Los Angeles Galaxy of MLS.

Milan hosts United on Tuesday as the Champions League resumes

after a two-month break, with the eight first-leg matches in the

first knockout round split over two weeks.

“It’s one of the biggest games for me,” said Beckham, who won

the competition in 1999 with United. “But the most important thing

is the team going through and beating United, which I hope we do. I

don’t think it’ll be a big problem (playing United).

“Obviously there are a couple of players not there, but the

team is just the same; they’ve got this great team spirit within

the squad and that’s definitely not changed.”

Beckham left Old Trafford under a cloud in 2003 after 394

appearances in 11 years, with manager Sir Alex Ferguson frustrated

by the then-England captain’s celebrity lifestyle.

Ferguson was at the San Siro on Friday to see Beckham’s team

end a four-match losing streak by beating Udinese 3-2, and the

68-year-old Scot believes Milan is missing something since Brazil

playmaker Kaka left the club to join Cristiano Ronaldo at Real

Madrid.

“It’s a good time for us to be going to Milan,” said

Ferguson, whose club lost 3-0 there in 2007. “They played this

weekend, they’ve lost Kaka and have a few injuries (including

defender Thiago Silva), whereas we weren’t playing this weekend and

we have had a good rest.”

Plus United – in Beckham’s words – are “on fire” with Wayne

Rooney already netting 23 goals this season, although the Premier

League champions are behind Chelsea in the title race.

“I’ve always said that Wayne is one of the best goal scorers

in football,” the 35-year-old Beckham said of his England teammate.

“He’s proving that and he is at a great club like Manchester

United.”