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David Beckham to AC Milan


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Beckham to join AC Milan on loan

David Beckham has agreed to move to AC Milan on loan in January, the Italian club has told BBC Sport.

The England midfielder, 33, plays for Los Angeles Galaxy, whose Major League Soccer season ends this weekend.

Speaking on Wednesday morning, Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani said: "Beckham has chosen Milan. He'll stay here in Milan on loan for a few months.

"Our squad is ultra-competitive and it will remain this way but Beckham is something different and intriguing."

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid star, who needs two more appearances to eclipse Bobby Moore as England's most-capped outfield player with 108, is eager to stay in contention for his country during the MLS close season.

However, England coach Fabio Capello has made it clear he will only select players who are active and in form.

Hence, says BBC Radio 5 Live football correspondent Jonathan Legard, Beckham's move to Italy.

"Now he's involved again in the England set-up at the age of 33 under Capello, he's clearly determined to make the most of it and knows that the MLS close season will do nothing for his fitness or sharpness," stated Legard.

"He's not started a competitive international in 16 months and you wonder how shocked he was when Capello made it clear he wasn't going to be considered for the Spain friendly next February."

Former England midfielder Ray Wilkins, who spent almost three seasons with AC Milan in the mid-1980s, told the BBC News Channel that Beckham had made a smart move by heading for the San Siro.

"He's going to an extremely professional club where he will be able to maintain the correct fitness level that it will take to keep his England place," commented Wilkins, who is now assistant coach at Chelsea.

"l am sure Fabio Capello is actually rubbing his hands together hearing this bit of news. David still has a lot to offer for our national side and going to Milan is a very positive and correct step."

Blackburn manager Paul Ince, who had a spell with Milan's city rivals Inter during his playing career, believes Beckham still has plenty to offer on the pitch.

"His quality with the ball is the best I have ever witnessed. He is an inspirational player, he has been great for English football, he's an ambassador and a really good friend.

"It will be interesting to see how he gets on with the language but he can call me for a few tips."

The 2009 Major League Soccer season is set to start in April, so Beckham's loan move will only be short-term.

In the meantime, he is expected to play for LA Galaxy - who had previously insisted that Beckham would not be able to move to another club on loan during their close season - in a series of exhibition matches in Australia and New Zealand in December.

He will then join Milan's stellar squad, which includes Brazilians Ronaldinho, Kaka and Alexandre Pato, as well as Italian internationals Andrea Pirlo and Gennaro Gattuso.

Milan are expected to officially confirm the loan move on Friday but coach Carlo Ancelotti has already made it clear he would welcome Beckham's arrival.

"For me, it will be a pleasure. Beckham is a serious athlete, a great professional," he said. "If he'll be available for us, we'll be very happy."

Beckham would be eligible to play for Milan both domestically in Serie A and in the Uefa Cup.

BBC News

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Jeez! This should be fun to watch. Beckham with Ronaldinho, Kaka, A. Pato, Schevchenko, Seedorf, Gattuso, Maldini...wow.

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Jeez! This should be fun to watch. Beckham with Ronaldinho, Kaka, A. Pato, Schevchenko, Seedorf, Gattuso, Maldini...wow.

That's what I'm saying. That lineup was already ridiculous without Beckham.

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beckhammilan275.jpg

ESPN did their own photoshop job. Not bad.

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Nice move for both parties. Beckham can get himself ready to play on the international premier level again, and AC Milan can already add to their ridiculous number of stars.

Sure, but there's one party you're missing: MLS. How does this benefit them? In a word, it doesn't. It muddies the league's Beckham-related branding, but moreso it cements the notion that Beckham cares far more about his placement in the England side than he does about the quality of MLS.

As I understand this loan, Beckham will be competing non-stop from the close of the current MLS season to the start of the next one in the Spring without a break. How is Beckham going to have any energy left to compete for the Galaxy?

My guess is he doesn't care and never did. It's been apparent from Day 1 that the MLS move was a marketing ploy, and Beckham had no intereste in making the U.S. league any better. While he raised its profile, which has proved beneficial, his non-chalance regarding league performance has -- in my opinion -- made the league look unfairly third-rate. The quality of play has improved in MLS in spite of Beckham.

This move to Milan just cements that opinion. It shows that his top priority is playing for England. To that end, the move to Milan is solid strategy, but a wholly self-serving one that should make fans of the U.S. league cringe.

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Sure, but there's one party you're missing: MLS. How does this benefit them? In a word, it doesn't.

I'm not sure about that.

If he's viewed as an MLS player on loan overseas for the off-season, it doesn't hurt MLS at all. So long as the impression is that his priority is coming back to LA in the summer, it's okay.

But MLS so bungled the whole Beckham deal, I don't know how they possibly begin to make that case. I have very little confidence in them.

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Sure, but there's one party you're missing: MLS. How does this benefit them? In a word, it doesn't.

I'm not sure about that.

If he's viewed as an MLS player on loan overseas for the off-season, it doesn't hurt MLS at all. So long as the impression is that his priority is coming back to LA in the summer, it's okay.

But MLS so bungled the whole Beckham deal, I don't know how they possibly begin to make that case. I have very little confidence in them.

My point is that Beckham has shown nothing to indicate that MLS is his priority. It's clear that all he cares about is playing in the national team, and the best way to do that is to play in Europe. Even his old manager, Alex Ferguson, today said that it makes sense for him to leave the U.S. for Europe, where the quality of play is higher.

Even if this is just a loan deal, how effective can Beckham be to the Galaxy next season if he spent his entire off-season playing in a far more grueling and competitive league? He'll be exhausted.

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Sure, but there's one party you're missing: MLS. How does this benefit them? In a word, it doesn't.

I'm not sure about that.

If he's viewed as an MLS player on loan overseas for the off-season, it doesn't hurt MLS at all. So long as the impression is that his priority is coming back to LA in the summer, it's okay.

But MLS so bungled the whole Beckham deal, I don't know how they possibly begin to make that case. I have very little confidence in them.

My point is that Beckham has shown nothing to indicate that MLS is his priority. It's clear that all he cares about is playing in the national team, and the best way to do that is to play in Europe. Even his old manager, Alex Ferguson, today said that it makes sense for him to leave the U.S. for Europe, where the quality of play is higher.

Even if this is just a loan deal, how effective can Beckham be to the Galaxy next season if he spent his entire off-season playing in a far more grueling and competitive league? He'll be exhausted.

I think ever player makes their country first priority. MLS, Serie A, Premier League, whatever; I cannot off the top of my head recall a player turning the country down for club. I cannot blame someone for not making MLS a priority over their national team.

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Sure, but there's one party you're missing: MLS. How does this benefit them? In a word, it doesn't.

I'm not sure about that.

If he's viewed as an MLS player on loan overseas for the off-season, it doesn't hurt MLS at all. So long as the impression is that his priority is coming back to LA in the summer, it's okay.

But MLS so bungled the whole Beckham deal, I don't know how they possibly begin to make that case. I have very little confidence in them.

My point is that Beckham has shown nothing to indicate that MLS is his priority. It's clear that all he cares about is playing in the national team, and the best way to do that is to play in Europe. Even his old manager, Alex Ferguson, today said that it makes sense for him to leave the U.S. for Europe, where the quality of play is higher.

Even if this is just a loan deal, how effective can Beckham be to the Galaxy next season if he spent his entire off-season playing in a far more grueling and competitive league? He'll be exhausted.

I think ever player makes their country first priority. MLS, Serie A, Premier League, whatever; I cannot off the top of my head recall a player turning the country down for club. I cannot blame someone for not making MLS a priority over their national team.

I don't disagree with you. But that's also not the point. I don't blame him for making the national team a priority; I would too. I blame him for screwing over the MLS, which -- loan deal or not -- is exactly what he's doing.

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Sure, but there's one party you're missing: MLS. How does this benefit them? In a word, it doesn't.

I'm not sure about that.

If he's viewed as an MLS player on loan overseas for the off-season, it doesn't hurt MLS at all. So long as the impression is that his priority is coming back to LA in the summer, it's okay.

But MLS so bungled the whole Beckham deal, I don't know how they possibly begin to make that case. I have very little confidence in them.

My point is that Beckham has shown nothing to indicate that MLS is his priority. It's clear that all he cares about is playing in the national team, and the best way to do that is to play in Europe. Even his old manager, Alex Ferguson, today said that it makes sense for him to leave the U.S. for Europe, where the quality of play is higher.

Even if this is just a loan deal, how effective can Beckham be to the Galaxy next season if he spent his entire off-season playing in a far more grueling and competitive league? He'll be exhausted.

I think ever player makes their country first priority. MLS, Serie A, Premier League, whatever; I cannot off the top of my head recall a player turning the country down for club. I cannot blame someone for not making MLS a priority over their national team.

I don't disagree with you. But that's also not the point. I don't blame him for making the national team a priority; I would too. I blame him for screwing over the MLS, which -- loan deal or not -- is exactly what he's doing.

The MLS was screwed over before he left, and will be long after he's gone.

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The MLS was screwed over before he left, and will be long after he's gone.

True enough.

The men who run that league ought to be replaced.

They signed the biggest name in world football - a huge coup - and proceded to bungle away all the advantage it could have brought. Their mismanagement of the Beckham deal will be taught in schools for generations.

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On a seperate note...

According to this report out of England, David Beckham is looking to purchase a $14 million dollar private jet so that he may easily move back and forth between Europe and Los Angeles. Here is an excerpt:

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

David Beckham is planning to splash out on a £7 million jet so he can travel between his European soccer commitments and US-based family.

The 33-year-old star, who is rumoured to be joining Italian soccer team AC Milan on an eight-week loan from his current team Los Angeles Galaxy, is contemplating purchasing a luxury Bombardier Learjet so he can spend as much time as possible with wife Victoria and their three sons - Brooklyn, nine, Romeo, six, and Cruz, three - who will remain in America.

A source told Britain's Daily Star newspaper: "He's going to have to sacrifice a lot by moving back to Europe in January. The only thing we can think of is if he either buys or rents his own jet for a couple of months.

"He'll be able to fly back to Los Angeles between games and meet up with the family. It might cost a bit but you can't put a price on time with your children."

David plans to sign the short-term contract because his US Major Soccer League season is over and he is desperate to remain fit to play in England's World Cup qualifying matches.

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