Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Billy on the Box: Madness in Milan for Becks and Ruud boy

Thanks to Sky for not making a whole song and dance about it, but because of their lack of hype you may not have noticed that David Beckham was up against Manchester United in the Champions' League this week.

There are as yet undiscovered tribes dandering about the Amazon with saucers in their bottom lips who took time out from chasing budgies to discuss the merits of Fergie's first meeting with Goldenballs since he kicked him out of Old Trafford, and were wondering what exactly is HD?

I can reveal it stands for Hype Deluxe as there wasn't a waking minute over the past week where Sky wasn't impersonating a German alcoholic and waxing lyrical about their need for Becks. Mind you, the return leg is on ITV so we'll probably not hear another word about it.

No such problems in Milan on Tuesday night, we were there nice and early as Richard Keys was joined by Graeme Souness and Ruud Gullit, although not everyone was engrossed by Becks' appeal, Andy Gray waffling on while in the background Martin Tyler was reading quietly. Probably a copy of the Big Boy's Book of Beckham.

It must have been an important game, the whole gang sent to Milan, where they appeared to be sitting at the side of the pitch with the ballboys and being outside clearly had an adverse effect on Richard.

“What is it like Ruudy boy, when you come up against team-mates?,” he asked.

‘Ruddy boy?' One of the greatest footballers ever and you address him like that? Madness, complete Madness.

For Ruud, in his baggy trousers, there was no embarrassment, as he harked back to his days with Becks and Uncle Sam, and didn't think Richard had gone one step beyond. It must be love. Okay, that's enough Suggs-based references.

Ruud didn't really care, he had a rehearsed line and nothing, not even pet names, was going to deter him. “Both clubs have signs of the devil, I want to see how it feels in hell tonight,” he snorted. A bit like sitting with Graeme and Richard, although a tad warmer probably.

Sadly, despite all the hype, Sky forgot one crucial thing. Becks isn't that good anymore and even when he was, he was still only the fourth best midfielder at Old Trafford, but the way they started he could still have been the fourth best and lined up beside Victoria, Brooklyn and Romeo.

Ronaldinho, who did some very strange Scooby Doo-like things with his tongue in the line-up, scored with a jammy deflection that left Edwin van der Sar, United's very own Shaggy, looking like he'd been given the keys to the back of the Mystery Machine and found Velma rather than Daphne waiting on him.

Still things were to get much better as Paul Scholes' cunning finish got United back on terms and then Wayne Rooney showed Becks that life has very much gone on at Old Trafford since he left to put Fergie's men in the driving seat with two headers. Insert joke here about pundits.

Still at least he'll get the chance to make up for it in the second leg, or not as given the way he played he could be sitting in the studio with the return of the United 7 likely to be put on hold.

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