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Page last updated at 17:25 GMT, Wednesday, 11 March 2009

I can deal with booing - Beckham


Beckham undeterred by criticism

David Beckham insists he can handle any hostility from LA Galaxy fans when he returns to Major League Soccer.

The 33-year-old midfielder has upset some supporters with his desire to remain with AC Milan in Italy.

But he told BBC Sport: "The booing, the criticism, I've had it all before. That side of it doesn't bother me.

"Real football people will turn around and say 'he's passionate about playing for his country and knows what he needs to do to make that happen'."

Beckham had been scheduled to return to Galaxy on 9 March but wanted to make a permanent move to the San Siro.

He'll get booed and it's of his own making

Alexi Lalas

After weeks of negotiations, he eventually settled for a dual contract after Milan baulked at the size of the transfer fee Galaxy were demanding - thought to be about 12m.

He will now return to Los Angeles on 10 July.

Beckham argues that he needs to be playing top-flight football in order to give himself every chance of winning a place in Fabio Capello's England squad for next year's World Cup in South Africa.

But former Galaxy general manager Alexi Lalas, who brokered the $250m deal that took Beckham to MLS in January 2007, says that reasoning will cut little ice with Galaxy fans.

"He'll get booed and it's of his own making," said Lalas.


But Beckham countered: "If I do get that, I'm sure my team-mates will rally round me."

He also insisted he was "committed" to the Galaxy and MLS and that he had missed his three sons while he had been in Italy.

Beckham said: "It's tough not spending time with them. I've missed two of their birthdays in the last few weeks.

"It is really hard because I'm so passionate as a dad as well and I miss them so much. They'll understand when they are big boys and they can say to their friends their daddy played for AC Milan, Real Madrid and Manchester United. They'll understand."

Meanwhile, an American businessman hoping to set up a new MLS franchise believes Beckham could easily do the same.

MLS franchise investor courts Beckham

Jeff Cooper wants to start a team in St Louis in the next round of MLS expansion and admitted that he would be keen to work with Beckham.

"David Beckham would find it pretty easy to get a franchise in MLS. He has had a tremendous impact on soccer in America," Cooper told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"To have him in an ownership group, or alone, would be a pretty easy approval process. We haven't approached him about it but you can be sure we will try to track him down immediately."

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see also
Beckham will be booed, says Lalas
10 Mar 09 |  Football
Beckham's American dream
06 Mar 09 |  Football
How Beckham conquered Milan
14 Feb 09 |  Europe
Football on the BBC
11 Mar 09 |  Football

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