Football

Ancelotti surprised by Becks

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Carlo Ancelotti admits David Beckham has exceeded all expectations during his first two months as an AC Milan player on the day it was confirmed he will remain with the club until June 30.

The England international arrived in Italy in January in what was largely regarded as a publicity stunt by the Serie A club, but he has become an essential part of Ancelotti's side, even surprising the Rossoneri coach in the process.

"Beckham has done more than we could have possibly expected from him," Ancelotti told PA Sport.

He added: "He has settled in very well with the squad and given a huge contribution up to now."

The 33-year-old played in an unfamiliar support role behind strikers Filippo Inzaghi and Pato in Sunday's 3-0 win over Atalanta and, although Ancelotti admitted to being "a little worried" about playing him in a new position, he was more than happy with the result.

"He played very well," said Ancelotti. "I was a little worried about it at the start, but he is an intelligent player and knows what was required of him in that role.

Beckham himself welcomed the extension of his stay with Milan and made Champions League qualification a priority. Milan currently stand third in Serie A, which would be enough to take them into the Champions League qualifying stages.

He said on Sky Sports News: "I want to stay here in Milan to help the team qualify for the Champions League because it's so important for a club like AC Milan to be in the Champions League.

"It's not just about the money the teams get from qualifying, it's about the whole legacy of big clubs and that's where they belong; AC Milan belong in the Champions League.

"Hopefully I can be a part of that and part of taking the team to the (group) stages next year."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Internationals
Football
David Beckham
UEFA Champions League

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