Beckham would love to face Man United

MILAN - AC Milan's David Beckham wants to play his former club Manchester United when the draw for February's Champions League last 16 is made tomorrow.

MILAN - AC Milan's David Beckham wants to play his former club Manchester United when the draw for February's Champions League last 16 is made tomorrow.

The 34-year-old, who joins Milan next month for a second loan spell from Los Angeles Galaxy to try to secure his England World Cup place, left United in 2003 having won the 1999 European Cup with his boyhood club.

"I would really like it if we draw my old club. Since I left in 2003 I have not gone back to play at Old Trafford (as a club player)," he told yesterday's Gazzetta dello Sport from Los Angeles.

"Seven years have gone by and I want it to happen. Me against United: great, no? It would be very difficult but also very exciting."

Beckham, who acknowledged he might not walk straight into the side at the second-placed Serie A club, also said he wanted England to meet Italy in the World Cup final next July.

Asked if England were among the favourites for South Africa, he said: "Yes, we can say it without any problems. England are a very ambitious team, however they are not the only ones."

Meanwhile, England manager Fabio Capello insisted yesterday that Manchester United striker Michael Owen needs regular team action to secure a place in the World Cup.

Owen's Champions League hat trick against Wolfsburg led to suggestions he was a sure bet for a place in South Africa next year but he has since only made substitute appearances against Aston Villa and Wolves.

And Capello said: "I ask myself why? Why (Wayne) Rooney plays always and Owen not?" -Reuters and Sapa-AFP

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