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In Pictures: The return of David Beckham to Manchester United

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David Beckham returns to Old Trafford on Wednesday evening with AC Milan. The midfielder is expected to play some part against his former side.

David Beckham returns to Old Trafford on Wednesday evening with AC Milan. The midfielder is expected to play some part against his former side.

After joining United as a trainee in 1991 and signing a professional contract in 1993, Beckham came to the world's attention on the opening day of the 1996/97 season with a goal against Wimbledon, lobbing Neil Sullivan from the halfway line.

After joining United as a trainee in 1991 and signing a professional contract in 1993, Beckham came to the world's attention on the opening day of the 1996/97 season with a goal against Wimbledon, lobbing Neil Sullivan from the halfway line.

In 1996, he made his England debut in the 3-0 qualifying win over Moldova

In 1996, he made his England debut in the 3-0 qualifying win over Moldova

Beckham helped United to the title in 1996 and again in 1997, and picked up the PFA Young Player of the Year award in 1997.

Beckham helped United to the title in 1996 and again in 1997, and picked up the PFA Young Player of the Year award in 1997.

The 1998 World Cup was to be a life changing tournament for Beckham. He scored his first England goal - a trademark free-kick - against Columbia in Lens.

The 1998 World Cup was to be a life changing tournament for Beckham. He scored his first England goal - a trademark free-kick - against Columbia in Lens.

But it was the red card he received in the second-round penalty shoot-out defeat to Argentina that is better remembered.

But it was the red card he received in the second-round penalty shoot-out defeat to Argentina that is better remembered.

He was vilified by the nation for the retaliatory kick against Diego Simeone which many people believe cost England a place in the quarter-finals.

He was vilified by the nation for the retaliatory kick against Diego Simeone which many people believe cost England a place in the quarter-finals.

Beckham responded to his status as public enemy No 1 by playing an integral part in United's treble winning season in 1999. He was rewarded for a fine season by being voted runner-up in World Player of the Year awards, behind Brazilian Rivaldo.

Beckham responded to his status as public enemy No 1 by playing an integral part in United's treble winning season in 1999. He was rewarded for a fine season by being voted runner-up in World Player of the Year awards, behind Brazilian Rivaldo.

2000 saw Beckham lift the title once again, before heading off to the Euro championships

2000 saw Beckham lift the title once again, before heading off to the Euro championships

England were beaten by Portugal in the group stages, and Beckham made a gesture towards abusive England fans upon defeat. Kevin Keegan's side were knocked out in the group stage.

England were beaten by Portugal in the group stages, and Beckham made a gesture towards abusive England fans upon defeat. Kevin Keegan's side were knocked out in the group stage.

In November of 2000, Beckham captained the England team for the first time, in a friendly with Italy in Turin by stand-in boss Peter Taylor. Sven Goran-Eriksson made him permanent captain upon appointment.

In November of 2000, Beckham captained the England team for the first time, in a friendly with Italy in Turin by stand-in boss Peter Taylor. Sven Goran-Eriksson made him permanent captain upon appointment.

2001 saw Beckham truly turn his standing among fans around. He won another title with United, captained England to their 5-1 win over Germany and in October curled in a 25-yard last-minute free-kick against Greece at Old Trafford to earn England a 2-2 draw and send them into the World Cup finals. The year culminated in being named the Sports Personality of the Year.

2001 saw Beckham truly turn his standing among fans around. He won another title with United, captained England to their 5-1 win over Germany and in October curled in a 25-yard last-minute free-kick against Greece at Old Trafford to earn England a 2-2 draw and send them into the World Cup finals. The year culminated in being named the Sports Personality of the Year.

The build-up to the 2002 World Cup was mostly concerned with the fitness of Beckham. A broken metatarsal meant he was touch and go to be ready for the finals. He looked unfit, but scored a memorable penalty against Argentina. England eventually went out against Brazil.

The build-up to the 2002 World Cup was mostly concerned with the fitness of Beckham. A broken metatarsal meant he was touch and go to be ready for the finals. He looked unfit, but scored a memorable penalty against Argentina. England eventually went out against Brazil.

Things began to turn sour for Beckham at Old Trafford in 2003. Rumours of unrest between himself and manager Sir Alex Ferguson were laid bare for all to see when Ferguson accidentally kicked a boot into his face in frustration at United's FA Cup defeat by Arsenal. The England skipper was left with a gash above his eye.

Things began to turn sour for Beckham at Old Trafford in 2003. Rumours of unrest between himself and manager Sir Alex Ferguson were laid bare for all to see when Ferguson accidentally kicked a boot into his face in frustration at United's FA Cup defeat by Arsenal. The England skipper was left with a gash above his eye.

In April that year Beckham was left out of the starting line-up for United's crucial Champions League quarter-final second-leg clash with Real Madrid at Old Trafford. Beckham scores twice as a substitute but it was too late to save the Red Devils, who lost 6-5 on aggregate. Beckham has since said that it was when watching the match back on television, and seeing Ferguson's reaction to a miss he made, that he knew his time at United was at an end.

In April that year Beckham was left out of the starting line-up for United's crucial Champions League quarter-final second-leg clash with Real Madrid at Old Trafford. Beckham scores twice as a substitute but it was too late to save the Red Devils, who lost 6-5 on aggregate. Beckham has since said that it was when watching the match back on television, and seeing Ferguson's reaction to a miss he made, that he knew his time at United was at an end.

That summer, it became apparent Beckham would be on his way out of Old Trafford. United accepted a bid made by Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta, who made signing Beckham the cornerstone of his election campaign. Yet United then announced that they had accepted a £25m bid from Real Madrid for Beckham and he agreed personal terms.

That summer, it became apparent Beckham would be on his way out of Old Trafford. United accepted a bid made by Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta, who made signing Beckham the cornerstone of his election campaign. Yet United then announced that they had accepted a £25m bid from Real Madrid for Beckham and he agreed personal terms.

It was heartbreak once again for Beckham and England at Euro 2004. The Real midfielder missed a penalty in the quarter-final against Portugal in Lisbon.

It was heartbreak once again for Beckham and England at Euro 2004. The Real midfielder missed a penalty in the quarter-final against Portugal in Lisbon.

The next England expedition was at the 2006 World Cup, and it was again Portugal who knocked them out. A clearly emotional Beckham was substituted in that game and announced he was standing down as captain soon after.

The next England expedition was at the 2006 World Cup, and it was again Portugal who knocked them out. A clearly emotional Beckham was substituted in that game and announced he was standing down as captain soon after.

When Steve McClaren took over the England job, he very publicly dropped Beckham from the squad, hinting that England needed a fresh start.

When Steve McClaren took over the England job, he very publicly dropped Beckham from the squad, hinting that England needed a fresh start.

At the start of 2007 Beckham announced he would be joining MLS team LA Galaxy at the end of the season. His manager at Real, Fabio Capello, was furious at the announcement and declared Beckham would never play for the team again. Yet Beckham's professionalism impressed, and he was allowed back into the side. He helped Real clinch the La Liga title, his first trophy at the Bernabeu.

At the start of 2007 Beckham announced he would be joining MLS team LA Galaxy at the end of the season. His manager at Real, Fabio Capello, was furious at the announcement and declared Beckham would never play for the team again. Yet Beckham's professionalism impressed, and he was allowed back into the side. He helped Real clinch the La Liga title, his first trophy at the Bernabeu.

On the England front, a desperate McClaren recalled Beckham to the squad, but it was too late as England failed to qualify for Euro 2008.

On the England front, a desperate McClaren recalled Beckham to the squad, but it was too late as England failed to qualify for Euro 2008.

Beckham scored on his full-debut for LA Galaxy and has been generally impressive since joining. He didn't make Capello's first England squad but was soon back in the fold, and clinched his 100th cap in the friendly international against France in March 2008.

Beckham scored on his full-debut for LA Galaxy and has been generally impressive since joining. He didn't make Capello's first England squad but was soon back in the fold, and clinched his 100th cap in the friendly international against France in March 2008.

Beckham joined AC Milan on loan in the MLS off-season in 2009, and proved he still had the abilities to play the game at the top. He joined the Rossoneri again this season, which is why he finds himself up against his old club.

Beckham joined AC Milan on loan in the MLS off-season in 2009, and proved he still had the abilities to play the game at the top. He joined the Rossoneri again this season, which is why he finds himself up against his old club.

On the England front, Beckham continues to be a regular member of the squad and is widely expected to appear at his fourth World Cup this summer.

On the England front, Beckham continues to be a regular member of the squad and is widely expected to appear at his fourth World Cup this summer.

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David Beckham returns to Old Trafford on Wednesday evening with AC Milan. The midfielder is expected to play some part against his former side.

David Beckham is back at Old Trafford to play his old team Manchester United for the first time since he left the club seven years ago.

>>Click on the image to launch our guide.

It is sure to be an emotional return for the former No 7, who has already stated he won't celebrate if he scores against his former club.

Here, we remember the highs and lows of Beckham's career, and why the Old Trafford faithful took him to their hearts.

Source: Independent


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