Fletcher vows to keep Beckham out of spotlight
Darren Fletcher is relishing another potential midfield duel with David Beckham. The United midfielder was able to keep former Old Trafford legend Beckham - mobbed when he arrived at Manchester Airport yesterday - quiet in the San Siro. Fletcher made his United debut two months before Beckham's departure to Real Madrid. His bow was in a Champions League match against Swiss side FC Basel at Old Trafford when the Reds had already booked their quarter-final slot. The 19-year-old was replaced by Beckham late in the match, and for his only other appearance that term against Deportivo La Coruna in Spain, Beckham was absent. Thus, Fletcher has never played in a senior match alongside the AC Milan and England midfielder. But his admiration is undiminished. "David is a massive global star and an example to all young footballers," said the Scot. "He is a top-class player first and foremost. As a young player at United he was one of the players you looked up to the same with Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Roy Keane. "Obviously, he has moved on from here and still had a successful career. He is still battling for a place in the World Cup squad with England. He will be out to impress everyone. "I am sure he will be welcomed back to Old Trafford. The fans gave him a great reception out in Milan. I am sure he will get a good reception from our supporters. "But it is about us winning the match. Once the game kicks off, all that friendship goes out of the window. Both teams will just want to win the match." From Fletcher's tentative start against Basel almost exactly seven years ago, he has grown in the last few years into United's big-match key man. "I can't wait for the challenge of playing Milan," he added. "I hope nights like this bring out the best in me. They are the matches I enjoy. You can't beat the occasion of a Champions League night. "It is a competition all players want to play in. You are pitting yourself against the best players and the best teams in Europe. You have to try to rise to the challenge and produce your best performances against these players. "It is something I enjoy doing, as do the rest of the lads. It is why it is great playing for a club like United. We have all have all these great occasions. I hope to enjoy them."
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