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Beckham: 'Alex is still scary, but in a good way'

When he flew from this airport, Manchester United used to insist that David Beckham wear a blazer and tie. Travelling with Milan is rather more casual but, although the attire may have changed, there were still the same requests for autographs and pieces of paper thrust into his hand. The television cameras, the numerous questions, the flash photographs, nothing much had changed.

Whatever he brings to Milan -- and he has not started a game since facing United at San Siro last month -- the 'Becks Factor' was still very much in evidence at Manchester Airport. As if a Champions League fixture between Manchester United and Milan needed any more stardust, then this was it.

"I would have liked to have stayed for my whole career but sometimes things aren't meant to be," Beckham said in an interview before leaving for Manchester.

"I have been to three great clubs since leaving United but it would have been lovely to have stayed there like Ryan Giggs has done.

"It will be good to see Alex Ferguson again. He is a scary man but in a really good way. He has played such an important role in my life and, during my time at Manchester United, he was like a father figure to me."

Ferguson's most important player these days is Wayne Rooney, who the Scot is counting on to secure a goal tonight that would be his best insurance against the 2-0 or 3-1 win that would take Milan through.


"On his current form, he would be a threat to anyone," Ferguson said.

"We have to have that positive attitude. That's the nature of our club.

"Sometimes we can make games more exciting than they need be. When we were leading 3-1 in the San Siro we could have shut up shop but we still kept looking for that fourth goal.

"Sometimes we get the benefit, sometimes we don't, but the most important thing is that the philosophy is the right one.

"But I can understand Milan feeling confident. They got that second goal towards the end and that will give them momentum.

"However, you can talk all you like but I back my team to produce and produce they will."