Beckham: Milan move not a distraction
David Beckham insists the announcement of his loan move to AC Milan has not hindered Los Angeles Galaxy's preparations for their most important match in four years. Beckham and the Galaxy face Los Angeles rivals Chivas USA on Sunday night in the second leg of their Western Conference semi-final tie, with the score poised at 2-2 following the opener last weekend.
That was the Galaxy's first MLS Cup play-off match since Beckham's arrival in the USA in July 2007, and indeed since the 2005 campaign. A victory at the Home Depot Centre will put the Galaxy one game away from the MLS Cup final. But since the semi-final first leg, AC Milan have announced that the former England captain will be joining them at the end of the year, before returning to MLS after the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.
Beckham, 34, said the timing of the announcement has had no negative impact in the Galaxy dressing room.
"At the end of the day it's not my choice," he said. "The deal was signed and I don't think it's upset the team at all. They're the most important ones, not the people outside of the organisation. They've known for months that I would be going back to Milan, so it's not affected anything."
Beckham is looking forward to rejoining the Serie A club, with whom he spent six months earlier this year before returning to the Galaxy and helping them finish the MLS regular season on top of the Western Conference.
"I know that I have to be playing in Europe to have a chance of being in the England squad and I'm honoured that Milan are really keen on that," Beckham said. "I'm very happy. I had a great time when I was there for six months before. I got treated like I'd been there for many years and it's a great atmosphere there at the club."
Beckham was happy that this year's announcement had proved far less controversial than 12 months ago, when he first joined Milan on loan and then in March when he sought and gained an extension to stay in Italy, rather than go back for the start of the MLS season.
He said: "First time around it was a surprise for many people and no-one knew whether I'd be coming back after the three months, and then after the six months, so there was a lot of people not knowing what was going on. This time it's a lot more organised and a lot more enjoyable."