Straight from the dark heart of Italy
Milan is synonymous with luxury and wealth – where else would the poor and homeless feast on beluga caviar* for Christmas?
So when the world’s most fashionable city welcomed the world’s most fashionable man, it was always going to be done with a certain amount of panache.
Dolce & Gabbana provided the bespoke club suit, to go with the 8,000-Euro-a-night presidential suite at the super-posh Four Seasons, while Mrs Beckham lunched with Giorgio Armani.
Sky Italia pulled their impressively curvaceous Sunday afternoon footballer presenter Ilaria D’Amico from whatever she gets up to on a Saturday evening to front a channel special, Hello Beckham.
Prepped to perfection on how to win over an Italian lady, Becks' first words were the obligatory bellissimo – a word to describe how wonderful and beautiful everything is and must be dropped into any conversation at least once when conversing with a signorina.
His new team-mates were equally smitten as they lined up to send their video greetings – most of them in English, apart from Ronaldinho, who mumbled something that could have been Spanish, Italian or Portuguese but sounded much along the lines of “can’t wait to hit the town with you.”
Becks rocks the Dennis The Menace look
The press conference didn't take long to deteriorate into one of those mind-numbing Italian Q&As, with Adriano Galliani outdoing any Just a Minute panellist by droning on without repetition, hesitation or deviation for what seemed like hours.
An array of sweater-wearing local hacks kept their British counterparts at bay as they attempted to outdo each other for question length. Becks’ eyes glazed over as he did his best to follow the overworked translator on a set of ill-fitting headphones.
However, being the consummate professional, he certainly won his hosts over as the missus sat demurely in the front row, but what the Milan fans will want to see is some substance beneath all this stylish veneer.
It’s all fine and dandy putting five past an Udinese side currently showing as much fight as a Christmas turkey but it’s different doing what Inter and Juventus are achieving – winning at places like Siena and Atalanta.
The top two were certainly helped by some iffy offsides this weekend but it’s beating the mid-to-lower-table sides away that generally seals the title.
Draws at Lecce and Torino and defeat at Palermo have helped leave Carlo Ancelotti’s men nine points off leaders Inter.
As we have seen with signing of Ronaldinho and the events of the last few days, Becks arrives at a club obsessed with image but Milan need more than just a passing fashion trend to put them back in scudetto contention again.
*In case you're wondering why the less fortunate will be tucking into posh fish-eggs over the festive period: it’s a consignment that was snatched by the police when they apprehended a group of smugglers and, rather than chuck it away, handed it out to charities in the city. Merry Christmas!
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