David Beckham has revealed that he never wanted to leave Manchester United, and wishes he had been able to spend his whole career at the club.
The England international returns to Old Trafford on Wednesday for the first time since leaving in 2003, when his current side AC Milan take on United for a place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
And Beckham has admitted a part of him wishes he had never left the club, despite the fact that he went on to enjoy success with Real Madrid, LA Galaxy and Milan.
"I wanted to stay for my whole career, but sometimes things aren't meant to be," Beckham told Match of the Day magazine.
"I've been to three great clubs since I left United, but it would've been great to stay there like Ryan Giggs has. Being at one club for so long is a real achievement."
Milan are 3-2 down after a disappointing first leg result at San Siro, but the 34-year-old doesn't think the tie is over for either side.
"It is a massive challenge," he acknowledged.
"To win at Old Trafford is a really big ask, but I love the prospect of big challenges and if I'm given the chance to play and prove what I can still do then that would be a great test for me and the team."
Beckham's return to Manchester United will also see him cross paths with former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, someone he did not always see eye-to-eye with. But Beckham insists it will be a positive reunion.
"It will be good to see him again. He's a scary man, but in a really good way," he said.
"He's played such an important role in my life, and during my time at United he was like a father figure to me and I will always be grateful for that."
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