Sportsmail online's series titled 'On The Road With.' brings you the behind-the-scenes accounts of following British teams on their European adventures this season. Today's instalment comes from Ian Ladyman (right), who is with Manchester United in Italy ahead of the first leg of their Champions League last 16 clash with Inter Milan.
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Being David Beckham no longer guarantees you red carpet treatment. Or so it seems.English football's most famous player turned up at the San Siro to watch Manchester United
train on Monday night - and couldn't get in. Quite why a married father of three hasn't got anything better to do than watch a group of footballers playing a glorified game of 'tag' in the cold on a February night is beyond me.
New home: The San Siro is where AC Milan star Beckham belongs now
Maybe Victoria was giving him a hard time. Whatever the reason, when he did pitch up at the San Siro at about 6pm local time some of the stadium security guards were having none of it. And quite right, too. Look at it this way. Would the stewards at Liverpool allow Everton's Louis Saha on the pitch if United were training at Anfield? Of course they wouldn't. The two Milan clubs may share the San Siro but when Inter are at home it is their ground and players from their rivals are not welcome. It's common sense really. As the photographs subsequently showed, of course, Beckham gained access eventually and he had the United kit man Albert Morgan to thank for that. Albert - one of Sir Alex Ferguson's most trusted aides - is perhaps one of the most high-pofile sock washers in the world. But he clearly carried enought weight to grant Beckham his wish on Monday. And some times you have got to hand it to Beckham. He still does have that bit of class. Most players would have headed straight to the pitch for a catch-up with Rio Ferdinand or Paul Scholes. Although I have no idea what footballers actually do talk about. Themselves probably.
Beckham knows all about Inter after losing the Milan derby 2-1 earlier this month
Beckham, however, stopped first for a chat with former Manchester Evening News reporter David Meek. Meek reported on United for decades in the days when reporters could just wander down to training and talk to Ferguson and his players. You could argue that Meek got out at the right time but his enthusiasm for football - and particularly United - has remained undimmed and his 'retirement' has not stopped him being a regular at Old Trafford. He ghosts Ferguson's important matchday programme column and is one of the most respected - not to mention nicest - people connected with a club that does not always generate a lot of postive PR. In typical Meek fashion, he wasn't that keen to divulge what Beckham had to say to him. But the fact that he took the time reflects well on our former England captain. I wonder if Gary Neville will take the time to stop and chat to me when I am in my seventies. Somehow I doubt it. REVEALED: The only English side to be unbeaten against Italian opposition in the Champions League. And it's little old Leeds
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