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Football: Beckham Taking Nothing For Granted At Milan

Posted on: December 21, 2008

ROME: David Beckham has admitted he might struggle to get into AC Milan’s first team during his loan spell with the Italian giants as he was unveiled to the world’s media at the club’s training ground.

The former England captain stressed he did not expect to “arrive here and change everything.”

“It will be difficult to get in the team as it always is at a big club,” said Beckham, whose loan spell runs until March 8 when he rejoins Los Angeles Galaxy for the start of the new Major League Soccer season.

“It is tough at any of the biggest clubs in the world to go straight into the team – it just doesn’t happen.

“But right now I’m in better form than was expected of me. I hope to train hard with my new team-mates. But I don’t want to upset the balance that’s already here, I want to help the team.

“There are players such as (Paolo) Maldini, Ronaldinho and others here, players that I have admired and tried to copy.

“I don’t expect to arrive here and change everything. It’s a great opportunity for me and I hope to have fun.”

Beckham, 33, is on the verge of equalling Bobby Moore’s record of 108 caps for an England outfield player.

But he accepted Fabio Capello, who pointed him in Milan’s direction, would not select him if he was playing reserve team football on a day when England’s Italian manager said he would not be swayed by sentimental considerations.

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder was officially presented to the media on Saturday after completing a medical.

He will stay in Milan to watch the club’s match against Udinese at the San Siro on Sunday before leaving Italy on Monday.

Beckham will return on December 29 and join his new team-mates on the club’s winter training camp in Dubai before trying to force his way into the Milan first team, something he admits won’t be easy.

Beckham also revealed that he had sought the advice of Capello, whom he played under at Real Madrid.

“He has been and is someone I have a lot of respect for. When I thought about this move I asked him for his advice. I had said I preferred joining Milan but I wanted to play in Italy because I wanted to play at the top level.

“And Capello asked me to only play at the top level. It’s right that he only picks me if I’m playing for my club.

“I’ve played for the biggest club in England, the biggest club in Spain and now I want to play for the biggest club in Italy.”

Capello meanwhile made it clear that Beckham’s proximity to 1966 World Cup winning captain Moore’s international appearance record would have no bearing at all on his team selection.

“About David Beckham, I put him in the squad when he played with LA – and if he plays for AC Milan it is possible he will be in the squad,” said Capello.

“Beckham’s record is not important for me – I decide the squad to win a game, not for the record.”

Theo Walcott’s shoulder injury could give Beckham a better chance of adding to his tally, although Shaun Wright-Phillips is among his rivals for a place on the right side of midfield when Capello next picks an England team, for the February friendly against Spain.

“He is a serious player and very important – but he will only be in the squad if it is a good moment for him at Milan,” Capello said of Beckham.

“When he plays it’s because he’s fit for me, not the record,” the England manager added after watching Aston Villa go third in the Premier League with a 1-0 win away to West Ham on Saturday.

Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti said Beckham would have to earn his place in the team, despite a long-term injury to key central midfielder Gennaro Gattuso.

“He can play anywhere across the midfield and a lot has been said about his free-kicks but the important things is the way he trains.

“And if he deserves to play, he will play. I’m very happy that he’s here.”

– AFP/yb

Channel News Asia

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Football: Beckham Taking Nothing For Granted At Milan

Posted on: December 21, 2008

ROME: David Beckham has admitted he might struggle to get into AC Milan’s first team during his loan spell with the Italian giants as he was unveiled to the world’s media at the club’s training ground.

The former England captain stressed he did not expect to “arrive here and change everything.”

“It will be difficult to get in the team as it always is at a big club,” said Beckham, whose loan spell runs until March 8 when he rejoins Los Angeles Galaxy for the start of the new Major League Soccer season.

“It is tough at any of the biggest clubs in the world to go straight into the team – it just doesn’t happen.

“But right now I’m in better form than was expected of me. I hope to train hard with my new team-mates. But I don’t want to upset the balance that’s already here, I want to help the team.

“There are players such as (Paolo) Maldini, Ronaldinho and others here, players that I have admired and tried to copy.

“I don’t expect to arrive here and change everything. It’s a great opportunity for me and I hope to have fun.”

Beckham, 33, is on the verge of equalling Bobby Moore’s record of 108 caps for an England outfield player.

But he accepted Fabio Capello, who pointed him in Milan’s direction, would not select him if he was playing reserve team football on a day when England’s Italian manager said he would not be swayed by sentimental considerations.

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder was officially presented to the media on Saturday after completing a medical.

He will stay in Milan to watch the club’s match against Udinese at the San Siro on Sunday before leaving Italy on Monday.

Beckham will return on December 29 and join his new team-mates on the club’s winter training camp in Dubai before trying to force his way into the Milan first team, something he admits won’t be easy.

Beckham also revealed that he had sought the advice of Capello, whom he played under at Real Madrid.

“He has been and is someone I have a lot of respect for. When I thought about this move I asked him for his advice. I had said I preferred joining Milan but I wanted to play in Italy because I wanted to play at the top level.

“And Capello asked me to only play at the top level. It’s right that he only picks me if I’m playing for my club.

“I’ve played for the biggest club in England, the biggest club in Spain and now I want to play for the biggest club in Italy.”

Capello meanwhile made it clear that Beckham’s proximity to 1966 World Cup winning captain Moore’s international appearance record would have no bearing at all on his team selection.

“About David Beckham, I put him in the squad when he played with LA – and if he plays for AC Milan it is possible he will be in the squad,” said Capello.

“Beckham’s record is not important for me – I decide the squad to win a game, not for the record.”

Theo Walcott’s shoulder injury could give Beckham a better chance of adding to his tally, although Shaun Wright-Phillips is among his rivals for a place on the right side of midfield when Capello next picks an England team, for the February friendly against Spain.

“He is a serious player and very important – but he will only be in the squad if it is a good moment for him at Milan,” Capello said of Beckham.

“When he plays it’s because he’s fit for me, not the record,” the England manager added after watching Aston Villa go third in the Premier League with a 1-0 win away to West Ham on Saturday.

Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti said Beckham would have to earn his place in the team, despite a long-term injury to key central midfielder Gennaro Gattuso.

“He can play anywhere across the midfield and a lot has been said about his free-kicks but the important things is the way he trains.

“And if he deserves to play, he will play. I’m very happy that he’s here.”

– AFP/yb

Channel News Asia

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