David Beckham confronted angry fans who had singled him out for abuse during his first home game for Los Angeles Galaxy since his loan spell in Italy.
The 34-year-old tried to hurdle a barrier to get to a group of fans who had been jeering him throughout the match and security staff had to hold the former England captain back as he tried to reach the supporters, while one fan had to be stopped from getting out of the stand to confront the star.
A 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?”
Galaxy fans refuse to forgive Beckham first for opting to return to Europe to play for Milan and then for making no secret of his desire to stay at the San Siro.
Beckham said 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.”
After the incident, Beckham was led to the changing rooms but did reappear for the second half while the group of fans who had upset the player were joined by a team of yellow-jacketed security staff.
Even so, Beckham played a part 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.
On the boos, Beckham said: “It’s to be expected. Sometimes it goes beyond it. The majority of the fans have been great.”
Meanwhile, new Milan coach Leonardo said Beckham would be welcome back at the San Siro.
“David had and has a good rapport with all of us,” the Milan boss told the club’s official website. “He helped us so much when he wore our shirt.
“Moreover, he is a good person and also the very fact that he came here to see us proves how much he feels for us.
“It was a really nice gesture.
“David is without doubt a very intelligent player and I don’t think there is anything strange to say that he could come back into my plans, because he can fit into any system.”