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By ESPN Staff

Loan-star Beckham torn over move to AC Milan

David Beckham has revealed he is torn between the "dream" of making his loan move to AC Milan permanent and his contractual obligations to Major League Soccer club Los Angeles Galaxy.

The 33-year-old is supposed to end his short-term loan deal with the Rossoneri in March and return to California, but he has been a huge hit since joining the Italian giants and scored his first goal for the club in the 4-1 win at Bologna at the weekend.

Milan have made no secret of the fact they would like to keep Beckham at the San Siro and it seems like the England international is coming around to the idea.

"To play here is the dream of any player," said Beckham in an interview with Corriere della Sera. "But deciding is not easy; it's a situation that requires time.

"I am under contract and I have a lot of respect for Galaxy. But the possibility to play at Milan is something special. I knew I would have fun but I didn't expect to have so much fun.

"The truth is that the Americans are doing everything to improve the level and reputation of their football. The league in the USA is young. I think 10 years have to go by to achieve results."

Beckham, whose wife Victoria and three children are back in the United States, knew the level of competition would be nowhere near as good as Europe when he went to America, and admitted that his time in the MLS has been trying.

"I have to admit that, having played in Europe, at times it has been frustrating to take part in certain games (in America)," he said. "But once in a while, going from state to state, I have also had fun."

Beckham first joined Milan to improve his chances of playing for England again and keep fit during the MLS off-season but his stay in Italy has also made him feel nostalgia for past glories.

"I feel Milan is very similar to Manchester United," he said. "It has that kind of tradition that only great clubs have.

"Milan, just like at United, you breathe a particular atmosphere, whether it's in the training ground, the stadium. And then Milan has that trophy room - this makes you feel special."

Beckham claimed any nerves over his move to Italy were soon dispelled upon his arrival at the club.

"The first day in Milan's changing room I was very nervous, like the first day in school," he said. "But the first true emotion, I felt it when I arrived in December to Milan's training ground, when I put on the Milan jersey.

"My wife was sitting in front of me and when I put the jersey on and it had the Milan logo, I was in ecstasy."

Beckham has not needed any time to make a huge impression in Milan.

Although his move was viewed as a marketing stunt by many in Italy, Milan and many of Serie A's players have been quick to lavish praise on Beckham for his performances on the pitch.

Silvio Berlusconi, the Milan owner, coach Carlo Ancelotti and team-mates like Brazil midfielder Kaka have spoken of their great admiration for Beckham and said they would like him to remain.

The former Real Madrid star has been pleasantly surprised by how quickly he has adapted to Serie A.

"At times you need weeks or even months to understand how a team plays and trains," he said.

"I have to say that many people have done a lot of work to make me feel at home, I have been welcomed with open arms.

"I knew Serie A was very strong tournament tactically. I have learnt a lot from Fabio Capello who coached me at Real Madrid. From him, I learnt organisation and discipline. Now Capello is exporting all of this to the England national team."

His good performances for AC Milan may well open the door for Beckham's return to the national team. Beckham is only a cap away from equalling Bobby Moore's outfield record of 108 appearances for England and he could achieve that feat in next month's international friendly against Spain in Seville.

He will be watched closely by Capello in Wednesday night's game against Genoa with the England coach among those attending the game at the San Siro.


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