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Page last updated at 09:25 GMT, Sunday, 12 July 2009 10:25 UK

Beckham hits back at Donovan slur

Landon Donovan (left) and David Beckham
Beckham (right) will seek showdown talks with Donovan

David Beckham has hit back at LA Galaxy team-mate Landon Donovan for suggesting he has shown a lack of commitment.

Beckham has returned to the Galaxy after a five-month loan at AC Milan with Donovan's comments on his mind.

"It is unprofessional in my eyes," said Beckham, who plans to speak to Donovan about the matter.

"In 17 years, I have played with the biggest teams in the world and the biggest players and not once been criticised for my professionalism."

United States captain Donovan made his comments in a book called 'The Beckham Experiment'.

He said Beckham's level of dedication to the Major League Soccer club had waned since his arrival in July 2007, despite the 34-year-old former England skipper being paid "more than double anybody in the league".

I don't apologise for what I said - I just apologise for the way I did it

Landon Donovan

But Beckham said: "In every football player's eyes throughout the world it would be unprofessional to speak out about a team-mate, especially in the press and not to your face.

"But I'm going to turn it on a positive spin because that's what this needs."

Beckham will come face-to-face with Donovan when he returns to training with the Galaxy on Monday and is set to return to action for the side against New York Red Bulls on 16 July.

The England midfielder could get a hostile reception from some fans but insists the problems between himself and Donovan will not seep on to the pitch to the detriment of the side.

"I'm personally very professional when I am on the field," said Beckham, who has endured a tough time with a Galaxy side that failed to reach the play-offs at the end of his first season and parted company with manager Ruud Gullitt.

"I don't care what people say about me off the field, once I'm on the field I'm professional and if there is a chance for him to score, I will be giving him the ball.

"Me and Landon will talk, but that will be a private conversation."


Donovan, who spent a spell on loan at Bayern Munich while Beckham was with AC Milan, played in LA Galaxy's 1-0 victory over Chivas USA on Saturday.

He has refused to apologise for his comments, although he regrets the way they have come out.

"I don't apologise for what I said," Donovan told the LA Galaxy website. "I just apologise for the way I did it.

"I should have told him to his face. I've long told David since he's been gone and I've been gone that I want to sit down and talk with him about everything.

"It's fresh in everyone's minds now, and it appears like everything has gone on in a short period of time, but this has been a long time coming.

"The timing of it makes it a little awkward and seemingly uncomfortable, but we'll be fine. We'll get through it."

He added: "We all like David. I like David as a person and I think he's a very good player.

"The frustrating part was at some point something happened and he seemingly turned off at the end of the year.

"Nobody knows what it was, and my fault is I should have asked him and approached him and I didn't.

"Instead I vented to a reporter and I regret it."

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see also
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AC Milan want longer Beckham loan
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