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Beckham makes Milan debut in exhibition in Dubai

Wednesday, January 7, 2009 , Posted by Linda at 11:34 AM

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – David Beckham had a quiet debut for AC Milan on Tuesday, exiting at halftime before the club beat Hamburg 4-3 in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw.

AC Milan's English soccer star David Beckham lines up before the friendly soccer AP – AC Milan's English soccer star David Beckham lines up before the friendly soccer match against Hamburg

The former England captain, on a three-month loan from the Los Angeles Galaxy, was greeted by a huge ovation before the exhibition match. Playing in a largely defensive role in midfield, Beckham displayed a few good touches with his famous right foot before being replaced by Mathieu Flamini.

"Felt just like when I was at (Manchester) United, they had families here sitting with the kids and it brings back memories," Beckham said. "It was exciting for me. Penalties aren't the best way to win a game, but I'm glad that we won. AC Milan works very hard and I love working hard."

Ronaldinho gave Milan the lead from the penalty spot in the 62nd minute, but Collin Benjamin scored from close range to tie it five minutes later.

Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti substituted for Beckham because of a lack of match fitness.

"I think 90 minutes would have been too much for him because he hasn't played for over two months," Ancelotti said. "Beckham is obviously not playing at his best because of the absence from competitive action, but this last week was very good for him and I'm sure he can be better.

"He is tactically a sound player and he plays for the team and was always making himself available during the match."

The 33-year-old Beckham's one mistake came on a back pass to Paolo Maldini that was intercepted by Hamburg's Ivica Olic, who had only goalkeeper Dida to beat before being brought down by Maldini.

Beckham had a chance to score on a 39th-minute free kick, but his effort was headed away by the Hamburg wall. Mladen Petric of Hamburg missed an unmarked header in the 85th minute.

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