Saturday, December 19, 2009

Milan midfielder David Beckham set for return to Manchester United

David Beckham is in line for a return to face his old club Manchester United after Milan were drawn against the Premier League side in the last 16 of the Champions League.

The England midfielder, who won the Champions League with United in 1999 before joining Real Madrid in 2003, will return to Milan in January for a second loan spell from Los Angeles Galaxy.

Beckham has not yet come up against the club where he made his name.

United's director of communications Phil Townsend was pleased with the draw. "It will be fantastic," he told Sky Sports News. "I think everyone at Old Trafford will be absolutely delighted, it's what the Champions League is all about.

"He (Beckham) will get a fantastic reception, as players coming back usually do at Manchester United. He was a terrific servant for the club and we all hope he will be playing."

Chelsea take on former manager Jose Mourinho after being drawn against his current club Internazionale.

Mourinho was dubbed the 'Special One' when he lead Chelsea to Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006 before leaving early in the 2007-2008 season.

Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay was delighted with the high-profile clash. "It's fantastic, it was the talk when we arrived here this morning and it's happened," he said.

"It's fantastic for the fans and for neutrals and it will be quite spectacular, I'm sure.

"I'm sure Jose will get a fantastic reaction from our fans. But at the end of the day he is the opposition and we'll look to go through over the two games."

Arsenal take on Portuguese side Porto as all three English clubs play the first leg of their ties away from home after winning their groups.

Arsenal secretary David Miles believes manager Arsene Wenger will be satisfied with a two-legged tie against Porto.

"I think he will be relatively pleased," he said. "We have played Porto three times in four seasons so they are a team we know well."

Spanish clubs avoided the big names with reigning champions Barcelona drawn against German side Stuttgart and Real Madrid up against French club Lyon.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas admitted they were facing a tough task against the club of their former striker Karim Benzema.

"It's an extremely difficult draw," Aulas told Eurosport.

"They're a fantastic team and the final will be played in Madrid, we know how that motivates."

Aulas added: "He (Benzema) was a great player for us and it's going to be something special for him to play against his former club."

German giants Bayern Munich meet Serie A club Fiorentina and CSKA Moscow were drawn with Spanish club Sevilla.

Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido admitted that the greatest danger for his side would be the freezing Moscow weather.

"We're satisfied with this draw. I think the biggest handicap for Sevilla will be the cold, we could play in temperatures of minus 18," said del Nido.

"CSKA Moscow is a great team but we're happy that we're not up against Milan, Inter or Bayern Munich," added Sevilla vice-president Jose Castro.

Full draw:

Stuttgart v Barcelona

Olympiacos v Bordeaux

Inter v Chelsea

Bayern v Fiorentina

CSKA Moscow v Sevilla

Lyon v Real Madrid

Porto v Arsenal

Milan v Manchester United

For the first time this year, the fixtures in the last 16 will be held over four weeks with half the ties on 16/17 February and 9/10 March and the others on 23/24 February and 16/17 March.

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