David Beckham could play his most meaningful soccer game to date in an AC Milan jersey Tuesday night when the Italian club plays host to Manchester United in a European Champions League round-of-16 game.
Beckham spent 10 years with United, helping the club win six English titles and the Champions League in 1999. Tuesday's game (11:30 a.m., FS West) will be his first against his former team, which he left in 2003 to join Real Madrid.
"Beckham's presence does not distract from the importance of the match," Manchester United captain Gary Neville said. "It's a good story that he is returning to face us seven years after such a good career with United. But I think once the match starts, nobody will be thinking about it."
There is no guarantee that Beckham, 34, will even start. He has been used off the bench in the last two Milan games, and Leonardo, coach of the seven-time European champions, has not tipped his hand.