The English Galactico, David Beckham, will move to AC Milan on a short-term loan in January. The move will occur during MLS’s offseason and Becks is expected to return to LA Galaxy in April when the 2009 MLS season kicks off.
Beckham is moving on loan in a bid to keep playing competitive football and stay fit so he is available for selection for the national team for friendlies and international qualifiers next year.
Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani:
“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.”
Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti:
“For me, it will be a pleasure. Beckham is a serious athlete, a great professional. If he’ll be available for us, we’ll be very happy.”
We know what Becks will get from Milan, but what will Milan get from Becks?
For starters, and this in no way reduces his footballing impact, Beckham will bring in money. He’s done it all his life for every team he’s played for, the man is a footballing icon and his presence will make Milan sexy and the focus of everyone’s attention, at least for 3 months.
Second, he’s going to give Ancelotti different options in middle of the season with League and European games coming in thick and fast. While he’s slowed down he is still quite good given some space and time on the ball and he’ll get that more in Italy than he would have in England.
And who knows – Beckham could help Milan make a genuine challenge for the title and get them closer to winning the UEFA Cup as well. His first year in the US didn’t go according to plan but he proved himself in the second year once he was fit and seeing how he adapted and proved himself at Real Madrid before that, I have no doubt that David Beckham will be the star of the Milan show, even if it lasts just 3 months.
Expectedly, Milan have played down the impact Beckham will have on attracting fans and media attention towards Milan:
“Il Milan non fa la raccolta delle figurine, il Milan è invece molto orgoglioso della politica che sta facendo. Siamo l’unico club in controtendenza: la gente va allo stadio a vedere il Milan. Non è un caso se 65.000 persone vanno a vedere Milan-Sampdoria. Se i 65.000 vanno allo stadio vuol dire che il Milan è un prodotto che piace. Rispetto a questi 65.000, Beckham ne porterÃ uno in piÃ¹ di tifoso piuttosto che uno in meno”.
“Milan isn’t a doll shop, Milan is instead very proud of the policy that it is making. We are the only club against the grain: fans come to the stadium to see Milan. It is not the case if 65,000 persons come to see Milan x Sampodoria of Genoa. If the 65,000 come to the stadium, it means that Milan is a product that is pleasing. With respects to the figure of 65,000, Beckham will more likely bring one more fan to the club than one less.” — Adriano Galliani
Italian translation by Steve Amoia.