David Beckham has been involved in an ugly confrontation with supporters at his first home match for the Los Angeles Galaxy since returning from his loan spell with AC Milan in Italy.
The former England captain attempted to jump over a barrier as he left the field at half-time into a section of the crowd that had been jeering him. Beckham was held back by security staff, members of whom were also needed to restrain an angry fan who left his seat and rushed towards the midfielder. The 34-year-old explained afterwards in comments broadcast on Sky Sports News: “I tried to shake one of the guy’s hands but he didn’t want any of it. That’s the way it is.” Beckham received a less than friendly welcome at his first home game after returning from five months with AC Milan — the team the Galaxy faced on Sunday. A hardcore section of the crowd booed Beckham every time he touched the ball and held aloft signs reading “Go Home Fraud” and “23: Repent” in reference to his shirt number. Another read: “Hey Becks, Here Before You, Here after You, Here Despite You” while one stated: “Is evil something u are – or something u do” Earlier this year, Beckham indicated he wanted to stay in Milan rather than return to America, stating that the standard of play was far higher in Italy.
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The apparent snub has angered some Galaxy fans, notably a hardcore that sit in the so-called LA Riot Squad section. Throughout the first half of the game he was subjected to jeers and obscene chants. After the referee blew for half-time, Beckham tried to hurdle an advertising boarding and appeared to make a “come on” gesture towards fans. In response, one man left his seat, jumped down on to the pitch and attempted to run towards Beckham. At this point security intervened and escorted Beckham to the changing room, while removing the fan from the pitch. Despite the incident, Beckham returned in the second half. He was the last man to take to the pitch and hugged several of his former Milan team-mates before gesturing towards the rowdy section of the crowd. A line of yellow-jacketed security staff stood below the supporters in the trouble area as a precaution. On the pitch, Beckham had a hand in both Galaxy goals, scored by Alan Gordon and Bryan Jordan, as they twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with the Rossoneri. Thiago Silva and Filippo Inzaghi scored for Milan.
After the second Galaxy goal, Beckham turned and shrugged his shoulders in the direction of the section of crowd that had been jeering him. The former Manchester United star was substituted after 75 minutes and walked off to a mixture of cheers and boos. On the boos, Beckham said: “It’s to be expected. Sometimes it goes beyond it. The majority of the fans have been great.”