David Beckham's return to Old Trafford will not faze Manchester United, says Patrice Evra

19 December 2009 10:25
Beckham's return to Manchester United with AC Milan for the last-16 tie of the European competition will be the former England captain's first trip back to the club he served with distinction before leaving in 2003 after Sir Alex Ferguson tired of his love of the limelight.

Although the pair have since put their differences aside, and famously shook hands in public ahead of Manchester United's meeting with Inter Milan at the San Siro 12 months ago, the competitive edge of both men will ensure a highly-charged last-16 tie, with Beckham's presence certain to attract enormous interest.

"Who can say whether it will help or not the fact that all the focus will be on him," reflected Evra. "After all, when we played against Barcelona it was all Messi v Ronaldo. For us it is normal. The pressure is normal.

"I am more interested in playing against AC Milan than David Beckham. What I do know is that our confidence is high. For us, the target every year is to reach the final, and from there to win it."

However, Evra does concede Beckham will make the games special, particularly the second leg at Old Trafford on March 10.

As someone who did not arrive at Old Trafford himself until two and a half years after Beckham had left, Evra does not have the in-depth knowledge of men like Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville, who were the 34-year-old's friends and team-mates from their schooldays.

But he would only need a loose connection with the club to realise what an iconic figure Beckham is.

It means Evra will reserve the warmest of welcomes for a man he will probably end up marking. But that is where the kindness ends. Because Evra wants that place in the last eight.

"I am very happy for David Beckham," the France full-back added. "He did a lot of great things for Manchester United and I want to say to him, 'welcome home'.

"I have met him. He is a gentleman. He is a good person and a good professional. This is why Milan wanted him to go back there.

"I like that type of player. He is still one of the best right-footed players in the world. But I hope he plays badly and I intend to make sure he doesn't do very well."

Source: Telegraph

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