Originally published in la Gazzetta dello Sport
Every week Football Italiano brings you a translation of one of la Gazzetta dello Sport’s interviews with a major name from the world of Italian football. This time it is the turn of Milan new boy and England legend David Beckham…
“ DUBAI A diva as great as him made a song about it, “Je ne regrette rien”, I don’t regret anything. So Beckham says he doesn’t regret choosing American ‘soccer’, not even now that he’s back in Europe. And yet the feeling is that the attraction between him and Milan is strong and could scupper his five-year plan. The team-mates love Becks, his modesty, his polite way of pretending he’s not a star. He’s already loving the sweat and tears (so to speak, obviously) that Ancelotti makes him shed, the spaghetti from chef Oscar, and his team-mates. The other night Victoria went to the team’s dinner and went from table to table to get to know the players and their families. She told them that her children love football but that they won’t be forced into anything (every mum says so), and she revealed that she never eats sweets whereas David is quite greedy. Basically, she entered perfectly into a new life. As did David who yesterday, while the winners of an Adidas competition were awarded, acted like a consummate actor in front of an audience that neglected Kaka’, Seedorf, Ancelotti, Galliani. No one can interpret the script as well as he can, also when he says that with Milan it will only be a brief encounter”.
How are you feeling after these days of intense training?
“We know what the Italian style of game and training for a match is like. It’s very hard for me, but I like to work and I’m trying to take advantage of every moment I spend in this club, which is considered the strongest in the world”.
Are you going to be ready to play against Roma on the 11th of January though?
“I always feel ready to play football, but that is not enough. Because when you are in a club like Milan, the point is not just playing, but giving one’s best. I think that when we get to Italy I’ll be ready to play one half perhaps, or half an hour. I haven’t thought at all about starting a match. I’ll do what Ancelotti says and I’ll be happy with it anyway”.
Now that you’re back to a European team, don’t you regret saying goodbye to European football so soon?
“I’m not used to looking back, I always tried not to have any regrets and I don’t have any now either. In Los Angeles I had some good times and I’m going to have more, at the moment I’m thinking about Milan and I feel like a lucky man: not everybody is allowed to live the experiences I lived and I’m still living. I won’t question the future, I’ll only think about these two months to be lived intensely”.
What impressed you the most during these days with Milan?
“I’m having a lot of fun and I like everything. The atmosphere in the group is excellent, it’s hard but as I said I like to work hard on the pitch”.
Will your stay in Italy do you good?
“That’s why I came to Milan, I still want to be an important footballer, I still want to play for my National team”.
You are very close to your family. How will you deal with this separation from your wife and children?
“I’m close to Victoria and to my kids, but everybody knows how much I love to play football. Victoria is going to spend a couple of days with me when I’m back in Milan, at the end of this trip to Dubai, but after that they will all have to leave because the children have their own life in Los Angeles and they have to go back to school. Victoria will come and visit me now and then for a couple of days. Now for me it is important to work to keep me at a high-level as a player”.
You are a marketing phenomenon in football. How did you manage to have such success as a celebrity?
“The real success of a player has to be seen on the pitch, it’s in his sporting results and that’s all I deal with. The rest, everybody has the chance to do it”.
Seedorf and Kaka’ look at him doubtfully: to be like Beckham, perhaps, to study is not enough.