England captain David Beckham is confident his last visit to Highbury will be a memorable one, insisting Real Madrid can overturn their first-leg 1-0 deficit against Arsenal in the Champions League.
Beckham admitted Real were second best to the Gunners in last night’s first leg at the Bernabeu stadium with Thierry Henry’s solo effort in the second half separating the sides.
Beckham told club website www.realmadrid.com: “It was very difficult against players like Henry, (Jose Antonio) Reyes, (Cesc) Fabregas – Real were bad and they (Arsenal) were better.
“We were poor but I hope in London it will all be different. We are Real Madrid and we are capable of coming back as we almost did in the Spanish Cup (when Real nearly overturned a 6-1 first-leg deficit against Real Zaragoza).”
Beckham was a regular visitor to Highbury with his former club Manchester United, and knows it will be tough at the famous old north London ground.
Arsenal are preparing to move to their new stadium at nearby Ashburton Grove at the end of the season.
“Highbury is a difficult stadium but we have quality players and it’s possible. The only positive to draw from this evening is that I was not booked and I can play in England,” said Beckham.
“Now we have to beat Mallorca and look even further ahead – we need to lift our spirits.”
Beckham admitted he was not surprised at the attacking spirit showed by Arsenal.
“I was asked during the week whether they would be defensive, but that’s not the way Arsene Wenger plays,” Beckham said.
“He’s one of the best managers around and was always going to come here with a young team full of confidence. They full deserved it.”
He rued his own missed opportunities, admitting: “I had two good chances and maybe I should have done better with one of them but it wasn’t meant to be.”
Meanwhile, Beckham expressed sympathy to team-mate Jonathan Woodgate, who limped off after nine minutes.
Beckham said: “Jonathan has strained his hamstring again and it’s devastating. It’s such a shame that he’s come back into the team and it goes again. It must be terrible for him.”