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from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Should the cup-tied rule be abolished in the Champions League?

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SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/How AC Milan were crying out for the guile of Antonio Cassano or the tough tackling of Mark Van Bommel (who could have replaced Gennaro Gattuso before he lost his head) in Tuesday's 1-0 home defeat by Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League last 16 first leg.

Both were ineligible having played in the competition for Sampdoria and Bayern Munich earlier in the season.

But if Fernando Torres can spend half a league season with Liverpool and half with Chelsea, why is it so different for cup competitions?

What extra benefit would Milan have by fielding players who played in a totally separate part of the tournament months ago with someone else?

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Could Beckham really play right back?

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RTR28E2S[1]BECKSDavid Beckham has returned for his second loan spell at AC Milan where he has an outside chance of playing right back.

Massimo Oddo is injured while left back Marek Jankulovski has been hit by fitness and form problems so Gianluca Zambrotta has been operating on the left of the defence rather than the right.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Beckham’s return to AC Milan confirmed

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David Beckham will tread a familiar path once the MLS season is over, joining AC Milan on loan again for a five-month loan spell from January.

Milan have just announced the deal on their website (just in Italian for now), meaning any lingering hopes Premier League clubs had of changing the England midfielder's mind have finally been dashed.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Live blogging the Champions League

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The Champions League is back and our reporters are currently wringing out their wet things (Mitch Phillips at Chelsea)/basking in the evening sunshine by the River Manzanares (Iain Rogers at Atletico) and undergoing all climactic variations in between.

Tonight's first tranche of eight matches includes a repeat of the very first Champions League final, with AC Milan visiting Marseille, plus the European debut of Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka for Real Madrid, with the Spaniards visiting Zurich.

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