Beckham plays down US influence

On-loan AC Milan midfielder David Beckham believes the game in the United States will grow whether or not he stays with Los Angeles Galaxy.

The England star - who last week equalled his country's caps record for an outfield player - will remain at Milan until the start of the new Major League Soccer season next month and has made it clear he wants to stay in Italy permanently.

He admitted after Milan's 2-1 derby defeat to Inter on Sunday night that it would be "difficult" for him to go back to the USA now, and does not believe his presence in MLS will have a major impact on how the game develops across the Atlantic.

"I obviously think there is a big chance that the game over there will grow," he said.

"I said it from the moment that I went over there that it will take more than five, 10 or 15 years and that's not changed.

"I'm still committed as an ambassador, but for the moment I want to play my football here."

Beckham suffered a slight hamstring injury against Inter which makes him a doubt for Wednesday's UEFA Cup tie against Werder Bremen.

Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti had included Beckham in his list of eligible players for the competition despite the fact he would only be able to take part in two games should he, as planned, return to the States next month.

But the Milan coach remains confident a solution can still be reached with the Galaxy, even if they appeared to close the door on negotiations this weekend.

"All I know is that he is with us until March 9 and we have until then to make a decision about him," Ancelotti said.

Whatever happens, Beckham will still be in Milan next week when his former club Manchester United come to face Inter at the San Siro in the last 16 of the Champions League.

And he will be donning his Red Devils scarf that night in support of his old team mates.

"They are two great teams, both United and Inter, and they have incredible players," he said.

"It is going to be a great game and I hope United win. I will definitely be here to watch it."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there