With reporters from Italy, England, Holland and the usual local contingent present, David Beckham spoke for the first time today on the proposed two-month loan deal to AC Milan aimed at maintaining his fitness for England.
Beckham said he is “95 percent sure” it will be completed in the next two weeks, but repeatedly reiterated there was no chance of a permanent deal when he was asked point blank if Sunday could be his last game for the Galaxy:
“No, it won’t be. I made that clear. I’ve said my commitment is still to be with the Galaxy and that’s not changed.
“I’m not leaving the Galaxy,” he added later. “I’ll be back. I’m a Galaxy player.”
Beckham, who acknowledged he had initiated the possible deal, suggested the loan was beneficial not only for him, but the Galaxy as well:
“If you know footballers, they don’t have four months off in any league in the world except for here,” he said. “This is my second season in the league and I’m not prepared to have four or five months off without training.
“I don’t agree with the amount of time that we have off here,” he added. “I need to play. My body is programmed not to have so much time off. I’m not prepared to do that again.”
Beckham said AC Milan was the Italian team he most wanted to play for:
“I’m honored that I’ve been given a chance to actually join up with a team like Milan, specially with the players they’ve got. They’ve got some of the best players in the world on their team – Ronaldhino, Seedorf, Gatuso, Kaka and, of course, Maldini.”
And Shevchenko. Bit different than playing alongside the likes of Franklin, Roberts, Gordon and Jordan anyway.
Can he keep up with the improved caliber of player in Italy? I asked if he was in Serie A form. His response: “You always ask negative questions.”
He later copped to his underwhelming play this season:
“Its been on and off. I’ve had good games, I’ve had bad games … Its been OK in spells and maybe in other games it’s not been.”
When it was suggested to Becks he might need to go on loan again in the winter of 2009-2010 ahead of the World Cup, if you follow his logic of needing to play this January, he smiled and declined to look that far ahead.
And for the fashionistas among you, Becks was dressed ultra-casually on a scorching day in white flip flops, burgandy fashionably-worn cargo shorts and an acid-washed t-shirt.
Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena was considerably more vague about what he knew about the deal and when he knew it, the suspicion among the assembled press corps being that like his predecessors he knew little in advance about the proposal:
“I have information. In my view since the league is the one that handles the contractual matters I think it’s crucial they are involved in the process.
“This has been something that’s come on recently. I’m not of the belief this thing has been in the works for months.”
On the risk of Beckham getting injured in Italy as he did at Real Madrid right before he got here:
“Injury is a part of the game. You could get injured going in the weight room.”