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Mar 9, 2009

Milan flattered by Beckham's ''dream'' comment

David Beckham's claim that staying with AC Milan is a ''dream'' has gone down very well with the Serie A club's coach Carlo Ancelotti who has revealed the club is flattered by the 33-year-old's comments.

The England international arrived in Italy in January on short-term loan deal which was largely regarded as a publicity stunt by the club but the player has exceeded all expectations on the pitch.

On Sunday it was confirmed that Beckham has now brokered a deal that will see him stay at the San Siro until the end of June when he will return to the Los Angeles Galaxy.

With the uncertainty lifted the player shone in Milan's 3-0 win over Atalanta on Sunday and he received a standing ovation as he left the field seconds before full-time.

Commenting on the deal in a statement posted on the Gazzetta dello Sport website, Beckham said: ''I'm grateful to both clubs for allowing this dream to come true.''

That sentiment has greatly impressed Ancelotti, who said: ''[Beckham] has said something important. It gives us at Milan a lot of satisfaction for a player of his stature and popularity to say such a thing.''

AC Milan club administrator Adriano Galliani praised Beckham for his willingness to give up a ''mountain of money'' to stay at the club. ''All players express their affection for a club, but few have showed it in a tangible manner by renouncing a mountain of money. Beckham is one of these,'' said Galliani.

Beckham confirmed his own sacrifice in helping the deal go through, which is thought to have included a personal financial commitment of $3m.

''I've done really well in my career, I've played for so many great clubs and I've been able to help myself stay in Milan, if I can put it that way,'' he said on Sky Sports News.

''My career has always been about playing football. People have talked about the money I've earned in my career but it's never been about money for me, it's always been about the football and my passion for football.

''People ask how I will be able to play at Milan and in Galaxy. I have never feared work, and then I will have a long four-week holiday and another break in December. Therefore, when I return (to Milan) in January, I will be in top form. This is why the agreement is perfect.''

Despite deciding to remain in Italy instead of returning to the MLS as originally planned, Beckham thinks there is a good chance the league will get stronger in the future.

''I think soccer in America can one day become very important, and one day, when I retire, I would like to buy a team in Major League Soccer,'' he said. ''I want to contribute to the development of soccer in the United States. It is one thing that really excites me and besides that, my family is happy in Los Angeles.''

Beckham said that a big part of his motivation to continue playing for Milan is his sense of ''duty'' with respect to playing for England at the 2010 World Cup.

''I am playing in one of the best clubs with the best players in the world,'' he said of Milan. ''I want to play also to have a chance to play in the World Cup, I think I have the duty to do everything possible to be called by Fabio Capello. Everyone knows how much I would like to play for my country.

''Many people have helped me to arrive to the national team and today I want to help myself.''

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