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Can Beckham’s Milan love affair last?

January 26, 2009

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, AC Milan have fallen in love with David Beckham and it seems the attraction is mutual.

 ”Our wish is that he continues with us,” coach Carlo Ancelotti said after Beckham had scored his first Milan goal in Sunday’s 4-1 win at Bologna. “Beckham knows what our wish is.”

There has been enough daylight in Beckham’s recent comments too to suggest he might be persuaded to try to extend his two-month loan deal from Los Angeles Galaxy. ”We’ll see,” was all he would say to Italian media on Sunday but note he now isn’t ruling it out completely.

Beckham staying on in Milan is a pleasing thought. The Englishman has looked perfectly at home in Serie A thus far and his continued presence would make the 2010 World Cup in South Africa a realistic target for the former captain.

As everyone now knows, Beckham is not a man to be written off lightly. He showed great character to come back from a bad experience at the 1998 World Cup and regain the respect of everyone in the English game. He also managed to resurrect his Real Madrid career when that looked to have reached a premature end and he has proved that his England recall was richly deserved.

On the other hand, he has always seemed to be a man of his word when it comes to football and it would be out of character to go back on an agreement to return to Galaxy on March 9.  

I wonder too if Beckham’s Milan experience might be subject to the law of diminishing returns.

I was in Madrid when Beckham arrived and I watched first hand as the eye-catching performances of the first few weeks gave way to too many displays that were little better than useless.

Then there’s the fact that Milan have a bad habit of holding on to players in their 30s. Might they not decide, a few months down the line, that Beckham is a luxury they could do without?

His wife is another variable and although she has a number of fashion shows to attend in Milan, Italy’s second city can never match the glitz of LA where the three children are at school.

It’ll be interesting to see what they all decide. Do Milan and Beckham settle down and make a real go of their relationship? Or can they just enjoy a consequence-free fling while it lasts? We’re running a poll on this at our main soccer website and please drop us a comment here.

PHOTOS: A combination of pictures showing Beckham reacting during AC Milan’s Serie A match against Bologna at the Dall’Ara stadium in Bologna, Jan. 25, 2009. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

Comments

I honestly think he doesnt know what to do. He would obviously like to stay at a big club like Milan and impress Capello (who will watch him live on Wednesday) but at the same time he doesn’t want to anger MLS and fledging U.S. football by quitting as he would look like a failure.
His agent has again said he is still going back in March and no talks have taken place. Does Becks regret moving to the U.S. too early? Maybe it is too late to change it

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive
 

As I’ve seen from photos of Beckham’s time in Serie A he appears to be happier, and seems a part of the team more so than at LA Galaxy, which is amazing considering he’s only been there (Milan) 5 minutes.

Perhaps some of the other Milan players identify with Beckham, the constant media attention being an example. This I think gives Beckham a sense of belonging at Milan, a bit like he had at Madrid with the other ‘galacticos.’

Galaxy are a nothing team, with no football stars or even players who are famous off the pitch.

So, does Beckham prefer to be the one standing out (Galaxy) or part of a crew (Milan)? I don’t know, but I think the latter.

Posted by Tom | Report as abusive
 

Beckham has done little to impress in MLS. He was perhaps the 20th best midfielder in the league last year. Now he’s tearing it up for Milan? Seems that MLS is way underrated. Just because it has a different style than the big European leagues doesn’t mean it’s vastly inferior.

Posted by Mark Shell | Report as abusive
 

Beckham has good football intelligence and he still can be a contributing player for Milan at his age. He likes his off the pitch life in LA, but he can always move back there in a year or two if he stays in Italy.

Posted by enrico | Report as abusive
 

Beckham was never ready to leave europe, but the falling out with Capello at Madrid before beckham’s re-emergence at the season end, allowed the galaxy to lure him away. I think Beckham wants to stay at Milan, but may return only to satisfy his commitment to US soccer.

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive
 

Hi Mark (Shell). It’s an interesting point about the quality of MLS given Beckham’s failure to really shine there. I wonder if it comes down to motivation mroe than anything else.

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive
 

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