Saturday, December 20, 2008

Beckham explains Milan decision

David Beckham says a key reason behind his loan move to AC Milan was the relatively short length of the football season in the United States.

"I've always said I would miss playing at the highest level," said the 33-year-old Los Angeles Galaxy player, who was unveiled in Milan on Saturday.

"I'm not saying that in America they won't get to the highest level - it will take time and it will happen.

"But with five months off during the season I personally can't do that."

Beckham, who has 107 England caps, joins Milan until March to try to stay fit during the US close season and keep his place in the national team as he bids to surpass Bobby Moore's outfield record of 108 caps.

"I needed to be able to be playing top-flight football to keep myself fit, to keep myself in contention for other things that are going on," said Beckham, who began the news conference by addressing the assembled media with a few words in Italian.

The first game Beckham could potentially play for Milan is their away match against Roma on 11 January.

"I wouldn't have taken this opportunity if I didn't think I could help the team," said Beckham.

"It's not about anything else apart from the football. I've come here to play with some of the best players in the world.

"To be able to step on to the training field with Kaka, (Andrea) Pirlo, (Paolo) Maldini, Ronaldinho - there's so many players that I've always watched and played against but never played with.

"There's some great players out there and I don't expect to walk in on the first day and be starting in the team, it doesn't happen like that.

"I'm going to work hard in training, I'm going to get my fitness - because I need to - and then once I'm fit, hopefully I can get some time in the team, and hopefully help.

"I know there's quite a few injuries at the moment," he added, referring to a lengthy injury list that includes the likes of Kaka, Gennaro Gattuso, Andrea Pirlo and Mathieu Flamini.

Beckham, who will wear the number 32 shirt, is especially keen to line up alongside 40-year-old defender Maldini.

"What is great about AC Milan is the history of the club, that's what makes great clubs," said the Englishman. "Who better to represent the club than Maldini?

"He's still playing at top level. That just shows the club's amazing structure, amazing beliefs in players whether they're young or old. As long as they're talented it doesn't matter.

"I've played against him and know how good he is. Now to play with him, well it's a huge honour.

"I love the history behind great teams, I've said it before. I loved playing for Manchester United. They will always be the team that gave me my start, gave me the chance to win so many trophies.

"I fell in love with Real Madrid too and now that I've seen AC Milan, I'm already falling in love.

"It's going to be hard to leave but I'm going to have a great time here I hope."

Earlier on Saturday Milan suggested they would consider signing Beckham on loan again in 2010 if his two-month spell goes well.

"We hope Beckham leaves an indelible mark," said chief executive Adriano Galliani. "Next year we could repeat the experience, maybe for longer."

Galliani had previously hinted that Beckham may want to spend more than two months in Serie A but the chief executive played down the speculation.

"David Beckham will stay with Milan up to 9 March. The last match is Milan v Atalanta on 8 March. I don't want to delude anyone," he said.

Prior to his official unveiling Beckham had a medical at a private clinic.

Source: BBCi

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At 11:18 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

he's an amazing man!


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