German Alegria / LA Galaxy

David Beckham looks ahead to Manchester City

David Beckham rose to fame playing in the red half of Manchester, famously leading United to a host of trophies, including the historic treble in 1999 when United won the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Champions League. Now in his fifth season with the Galaxy, having already faced former clubs AC Milan and Real Madrid, Beckham will have the chance to play against his original club Manchester United in the MLS All-Star Game in New York on July 27.

But before he can get to that game, he must first face a club that is well known to him, Manchester City. The Blues visit The Home Depot Center on Sunday as part of the Herbalife World Football Challenge, giving Beckham another chance to face, and hopefully defeat, his former rivals.

We caught up with the Galaxy midfielder to see what he thought of facing the reigning FA Cup champions, their recent rise to glory and what it was like to play in the famed Manchester Derby.

Here is what he had to say...

Having played against City in the notorious Manchester derby games, what will it be like to play them again in an LA Galaxy shirt?

DB:  I've had a lot of great games against City and the rivalry we had was special.  Thankfully we always seemed to have the upper hand.
They are a strong, competitive club and they have invested in a major way.  They are a much changed team to when I last played them but I am just looking forward to a good match here in LA.

What do you think of City's progression as a club?

DB:  They have had a lot of investment, bought many good players and progressed well as a club.  They work hard as a team and are defensively strong.  Winning the FA Cup last year was a significant achievement for the club but the expectations are even higher this season.  The Premier League is the best in the world so it's going to be tough for them to win as there are many great teams who are vying for the Championship.

Do you think the Blues have what it takes to become a big force in football? If so, what do you think the key to success is, having enjoyed such a successful career in Premier League football at neighbors Manchester United?

DB:  I have enjoyed success with United and been fortunate to go from United to Real Madrid as well as play for AC Milan and as a footballer that has been amazing.  I think they do have a chance to compete at those levels but the competition is high.

Both City and LA Galaxy are competing in the Herbalife World Football Challenge this summer. How do you think City will benefit from their pre-season trip to America?

DB:  I think it is a great experience for them to come here, to the States and play in these matches.  All the clubs coming here are just getting back together to start their pre season training so they are getting back to full fitness.  And it is exciting for the fans in America to se these clubs and players.  I also hope they see the success of the game here as well.  It has grown significantly over recent years.

Who are you looking forward to playing against from City? Who do you rate and why?

DB:  City have many good players.  Yaya Toure was outstanding last season and they have many good players in the form of James Milner, Shaun Wright Phillips and Gareth Barry.

During your time in the Premier League, there was a bona fide "top four", which both Spurs and City have now infiltrated. Do you think you would ever be tempted to play in England again?

DB:  I never rule anything out but I'm happy here.  I'm a Manchester United fan so I would find it very difficult to play for any other club but you never know.  Right now I am focused on our Galaxy season and winning the Championship this year.

The Galaxy face Manchester City in their second and final game of the Herbalife World Football Challenge on Sunday, July 24 at 1 p.m. at The Home Depot Center. Tickets are available for that match as low as $30. Visit lagalaxy.com/worldfootballchallenge for more information.


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