England midfielder David Beckham launched a passionate defence of his professionalism as he prepared for his comeback game with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Thursday's match against the New York Red Bulls will be the 34-year-old's first since embarking on a loan at Serie A club AC Milan as he attempted to boost his chances of playing in next year's World Cup. That move led Galaxy team-mate and captain Landon Donovan to question Beckham's commitment.

But the former England skipper said: "I'm a very honest person. If I didn't want to be here, I wouldn't."

He added: "I've always been committed to every contract I've had as a soccer player - Manchester United, Real Madrid, Galaxy - and that doesn't change.

"I'm a very committed person.

"If people want to question my professionalism and also my commitment, what I will say about that is the fact that I'm willing to travel thousands of miles to play for my country says it all."

Since returning to the United States, Beckham has had a meeting with manager Bruce Arena and Donovan - and he claims the forward's comments are now in the past.

"It was actually the manager that brought us together," Beckham said. "We knew that we had to speak once we were back in the same country.

"We sat down, went through everything. Landon apologised and I told him my view on things and it's forgotten about.

"I've been criticised by Pele before, I've been criticised by George Best before. And these are people I've respected for my entire career, people I look up to. At the end of the day, it's about the criticism and how it affects you and it doesn't affect me."

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