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Michael Taylor 18th Dec 2009 - 12:10

Mourinho and Beckham both back to face their makers

All the speculation came true in Nyon this Friday when the Champions League round of 16 was drawn.

The gasps were audible as Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan were paired alongside his former club Chelsea, and after that point it became a formality that David Beckham and AC Milan would be making a trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United.

It's the perfect draw for English European fans who love a storyline surrounding their football action - it really doesn't get better than two of England's best loved personalities heading back to where they made their names.

Some may argue Jose Mourinho was already a star when he arrived at Stamford Bridge on the back of a Champions League winning season with Portuguese side Porto, but his global appeal wasn't realised until taking up the reigns as Roman Abramovic's glory boy.

Within seconds of announcing himself as 'The Special One' he became a Blues hero and, within one year and a first Premier League title since 1955, he was firmly installed as a lifetime legend.

A disagreeable relationship with the Director led to an acrimonious departure just three years after his London move yet he still remains an iconic figure for every Chelsea fan on the planet.

That is of course until February when he task is dumping his former club out of the competition Abramovic so desperately wants to get his hands on.

Will he remain a Chelsea legend if he succeeds?

Don't forget though, Mourinho isn't the only manager in this game who faces a date with destiny either, with former AC Milan gaffer Carlo Ancelotti hoping to do the Rossoneri a favour by ejecting their big city rivals.

One manager will win the battle, both will remain legends but, most importantly, who will get a step closer to the title?

Prices: Chelsea to qualify - 1/2, Inter Milan to Qualify - 6/4

Mourinho's return is big news but the real media circus will be further north when David Beckham finally gets a chance to ply his trade against his old mentor Sir Alex Ferguson.

Becks went through brilliant times and bad times at Old Trafford with lasting images of a halfway line wonder goals, Champions League winners medals and plastered up faces still as fresh as ever.

His free kicks, work rate, crossing ability and flair made him one of Fergie's finest while his style off the pitch meant United had the world's most desirable sports star at their disposal.

It led to unrivalled success for the Red Devils with their global following all shouting out the name, Beckham.

That was until Ferguson and Beckham parted company in rather inauspicious circumstances and he headed to Real Madrid to become the most publicised Galactico ever.

His legendary status still remains though and, when he makes his long awaited return in the red and black of AC Milan, nearly 80,000 people in the Theatre of Dreams are sure to be standing.

Whether his depleted Milan friends can pull off a shock and win in Manchester is not a guarantee, however, you can be sure Ferguson will demand his players don't give any set-pieces away around their own box.

Prices: Man Utd to qualify - 2/5, AC Milan to qualify - 7/4

 

 
 
 

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