Beckham start not guaranteed

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David Beckham is not guaranteed a place in the AC Milan team which faces Manchester United next Tuesday, although his chances look promising after coach Leonardo praised his versatility.

After starting Milan's first five league games of 2010, Beckham has been a substitute in their last two, although he did play the final 15 minutes of the 3-2 win over Udinese on Friday. But Leonardo discarded the notion that former United midfielder Beckham was being saved for his "special match" next week, insisting he had and will continue to pick the team he believes is best suited for each individual game.

"We know it's a very special match for him," said Leonardo. "It's very special to play in the Champions League against his own team, let's say it like that. But we have got to analyse everything and we have a lot of players in good condition. We'll see how everybody is to choose the best team."

Amantino Mancini took the role Beckham has occupied since arriving at the Rossoneri in December on Friday night, but he is ineligible to face the Red Devils having already appeared in the competition for his former club Inter Milan.

His position will therefore be up for grabs.

Mancini was replaced by Alexandre Pato last night while Beckham had to wait until late on before taking the place of Ronaldinho, whose place in the team on Tuesday does not appear to be in any doubt after another inspirational performance against Udinese.

But Leonardo's praise of Beckham's adaptability means the former England captain has a good chance of featuring against his former employers.

"I think he can play anywhere," added Leonardo. "He's smart and intelligent and tactically he's perfect.

"There are no problems choosing a system or a position for him.

"He's been doing very well this year. He arrived in December and he knows the team and how we play."

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European News
David Beckham
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Manchester United

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