David Beckham has 'no scores to settle' as he prepares for United

• Sir Alex Ferguson remains a 'father figure - always has been'
• If Beckham scored against old club he 'wouldn't celebrate'

David Beckham has said he has forgiven Sir Alex Ferguson for the Manchester United manager's infamous 2003 'boot-rage' outburst, that he has "no scores to settle" with his old club and that he could not bring himself to celebrate a goal against United tomorrow.

"It is going to be an emotional game, but as a Manchester United fan it's the first time I am going to want United to lose," said Beckham, ahead of his Milan side's Champions League first leg. "Sir Alex Ferguson was always a father figure to me. Always has been, always will be, whether we've had good times or bad times."

If selected it would be Beckham's first appearance against the club he left in 2003, the same year he was left gashed on the forehead by a boot hurled in rage by Ferguson. "Sir Alex gave me the chance to play for a club I'd always dreamed of playing for. I definitely don't hold anything against the manager – he's really an incredible man ... There are only good memories from Manchester United, nothing else … There's definitely no score to be settled."

Beckham's place in the Milan team is not guaranteed, and his appearance at the pre-match press conference does not necessarily suggest that the Milan coach, Leonardo, is ready to change the team he has used for the last two Serie A games, when the Englishman sat on the bench.

But Beckham admitted that if he gets the chance, scoring against United would be a bittersweet moment. "I wouldn't celebrate," he said. "Obviously I'd be pleased to score. But [out of] respect to Manchester United and the fans, I wouldn't celebrate. But I wouldn't want Milan fans to think I wasn't excited to score."

The return leg is at Old Trafford on 10 March, a match Beckham said would be "emotional".

He added: "But I'm more focused on winning the game than the emotional part. To say that as a Manchester United fan is quite difficult."


Paul Coupar and Agencies

The GuardianTramp

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