Saturday 24 February 2018

Beckham aims for Italian title

Jeremy Wilson

The ear-to-ear smile on the face of David Beckham when he returned to the Milanello training base shortly after Christmas told its own story.

Old Trafford might always be his spiritual home but, professionally, there were few happier and more productive spells in even Beckham's roller-coaster career than the time he spent on loan last year in Milan.

Even then, the World Cup was always the ultimate goal and, five months before Fabio Capello selects his provisional England squad for South Africa, Beckham is back at AC Milan to do it all again.

Having not played since the Major League Soccer final at the end of November, he is expected to be among the substitutes tonight against Genoa though that could change if Andrea Pirlo, Clarence Seedorf and Gianluca Zambrotta fail late fitness tests.

Should Beckham be needed, there is certainly confidence about his physical condition following a series of tests upon his arrival back in Milan.

Capello has hinted that Beckham will be in his England squad should he be fit and playing regularly but, such has been the sacrifice over the past year when he has played almost continuously in America or Europe, nothing will be taken for granted.

With AC Milan second in Serie A, a championship-winning medal to go with those he won in the Premier League with Manchester United and La Liga with Real Madrid is still feasible. There is also the looming Champions League match against Manchester United.

"Manchester United is so special to me and I've never been back as a player -- it's an experience I want to cherish," said Beckham. "It's going to be such a special and emotional night. I miss it every day. I miss being a Manchester United player, I miss the club, I miss the fans and friends at the club. But to win a title with AC Milan is my No 1 wish." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Milan v Genoa,

Live, ESPN, 7.45

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