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Becks: This United side better than treble-winners

David Beckham believes the current Manchester United team is as good as, if not better, than the treble-winning one he was part of in 1999.

Beckham comes up against the Red Devils tonight for the first time since leaving them seven years ago, and has tipped them for more glory if they are able to get past his AC Milan side.

"I think they are as talented as the team back then," said Beckham. "Teams like United, AC Milan, Real Madrid and Barcelona all move on. You don't become the biggest by standing still.

"In 1999 we won the treble, and the Champions League is so important to many clubs in football. United are always going to be a strong team."

The credit for United's constant evolution and improvement lies firmly with their manager, and for as long as Alex Ferguson is in charge Beckham cannot see United taking a step backwards.

"Alex always looks to improve the team and does that all the time," the England international added.

Nevertheless, Beckham will have to try to put that respect to one side tonight when he looks to plot the demise of a man he labelled a "father figure".

His responsibility now lies with the Rossoneri, and he is aware he has a duty to perform even though he is not guaranteed to start the game.

"The game is more important than my emotions," he added. "The most important thing is that we win the game and play well."

Beckham admits Milan will have to be at their best to stand any chance of getting a positive result against United.

He said: "Manchester United are a great team, they have great players all the way through the team, and with Wayne Rooney in the form that he's in right now, he's difficult to stop.

"We have to play well and keep the ball well and you need a certain amount of luck."

Beckham has played for Real Madrid, Los Angeles Galaxy and AC Milan since leaving United in 2003 and, although he did not expect to quit Old Trafford in the first place, insists he has no regrets about the way his career has panned out.

"I always expected to be at United for my whole career, but obviously I left seven years ago, have been at two different clubs since then and this is my third with Milan," he said.

"Going back to Manchester is always going to hold so many great memories for myself. I was there for so many years, from a young kid to the age of 27.

"To have been part of the Manchester United team which played in the Champions League for many years and now be part of AC Milan, and its history, goes beyond anything you can dream of as a footballer."