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Leonardo expects Becks to cope
10 Mar 2010 - 08:58:16
AC Milan coach Leonardo has backed David Beckham to cope with his "special" return to Manchester United.
Beckham, 34, will line up against the club he supported as a boy and spent the first 10 years of his career in Wednesday's second leg of a Champions League's last 16 tie.
The former England midfielder has not made a competitive club appearance at Old Trafford since leaving for Real Madrid in 2003.
He started the first leg in Italy which United won 3-2 three weeks ago but Leonardo would not be drawn on reports that Beckham will be on the bench on Wednesday night.
However, he does not believe the veteran midfielder will struggle to cope with the unique demands of a match against his former club.
Beckham was greeted by hoards of friendly fans when he touched down at Manchester airport on Tuesday morning.
"For Beckham, it is obviously something special to have the opportunity to play against Manchester United given his history at the club," said Leonardo.
"When we saw the draw we knew it would be an unbelievable situation for him.
"But knowing David, and his attitude, I am sure he can cope. And independent of that, he is very important for the group as a whole and we are always grateful for his presence."