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By ESPN Staff

Beckham "almost cried" at drawing Man Utd tie

David Beckham says he almost cried when his AC Milan side were drawn against former club Manchester United in the Champions League last 16. The 34-year-old, starting his second five-month loan at Milan from Los Angeles Galaxy, is especially looking forward to March's second leg in Manchester having won the 1999 European Cup during his 10-year Old Trafford career.

"When I heard about the tie I almost cried," Beckham said at his first news conference since arriving back in Milan. "I love the club. It's going to be an emotional night. "I have never returned to Old Trafford in six years. It has always been a special place in my heart."

Beckham, hoping to secure his England World Cup place by again playing in Europe during the U.S. close season, denied team mates might be put out if he took their place in the side.

"I am not expected to start the games. I just want to be part of the team. Players are not jealous. They were happy to see me back," he said.

"I missed the team, the players, the fans. The group is very similar. It is the same at Manchester United, it never changes," he added, admitting he was sorry to see the departures of Carlo Ancelotti, Kaka and Paolo Maldini since last season's stay.

Milan, second in Serie A, are without long-term injury victim Massimo Oddo so new coach Leonardo has hinted he is considering playing Beckham in an unaccustomed right back role.

Such a move would be unlikely to damage Beckham's dream of playing in a fourth World Cup in South Africa in June after England coach Fabio Capello said he would be in the squad if he was fit and in form.

"I would be happy to play in any position, in defence, in attack," said the bearded Beckham, wearing a dark suit, black tie and white shirt.

"I need to work hard. It's not guaranteed (that I'll go to the World Cup). It's not that easy. I have to work on my fitness."

Still one of the most marketable footballers in the world, Beckham reeled off one decent line in Italian: "My Italian is so-so. Happy New Year not only to Milanistas but everyone in Italy."

The midfielder started last season's loan in fine form before tiredness after a near non-stop year of soccer finally caught up with him. This time he wants to help Milan overhaul clear Serie A leaders and defending champions Inter Milan.

"To win a title is my number one wish. To win a title with AC Milan," he said, denying the sale of top players in the last transfer window has further weakened a predictable Serie A.

"I don't think the league has lost any charm. Definitely not. I don't know (if I would return to Milan in the future). I have to see at this point," he added, mindful that he has committed to Galaxy long-term.

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