x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Beckham arrives in Dubai

David Beckham, the England footballer, arrives in Dubai ahead of his debut for AC Milan in a match being staged in the emirate.

David Beckham holds his number 32 AC Milan jersey during his presentation at the San Siro Stadium in Milan.
David Beckham holds his number 32 AC Milan jersey during his presentation at the San Siro Stadium in Milan.

DUBAI // David Beckham, the England footballer, arrived in Dubai on Monday night as he prepared for his debut for AC Milan in a friendly with German club Hamburg SV. Beckham was expected to arrive at Dubai International Airport's terminal three at 7.30pm with his wife Victoria and three sons Brooklyn, nine, Romeo, six, and Cruz, three. But to the disappointment of a small group of fans, the former Manchester United player was ushered out of the airport without making a public appearance. It is unclear whether he was travelling alone or with his family. A spokesman for the organisers of the friendly match said Beckham was "tired". Two English holidaymakers, Adam McKelvie and Nicola Finegan, clutching paper and a pen, were two of a handful of people who were at the airport and aware of Beckham's expected arrival time. Mr McKelvie, a Manchester United fan, needed to get water to calm down when he heard Beckham would be coming. "I'm so excited, my heart is jumping," Mr McKelvie said. "I'm a big Manchester United fan so he's a hero of mine. We're going home before the game but we'll be definitely going to watch them training tomorrow." "I'm disappointed we didn't get to see him tonight but never mind. There's always tomorrow." The 33-year-old footballer will make his debut for AC Milan on Jan 6 against Hamburg SV at the Emirates Stadium in Dubai. Beckham, on loan to the Italian side by Los Angeles Galaxy, is believed to be at the centre of one of Dubai's biggest security operations. Reports suggest roads will be sealed off around the training ground. The Brazilian footballers Ronaldinho and Kaka arrived in Dubai at 9.15pm last night. Italy's Gianluca Zambrotta and Filippo Inzaghi, Ukraine's Andriy Shevchenko, Dutch veteran Clarence Seedorf will also be joining them. The team will be in Dubai for nine days, opening two training sessions up to the public at Al Nasr Club tonight between 5pm and 6.30pm and on Jan 2 between 9.30am and midday. loatway@thenational.ae