AC Milan midfielder David Beckham says progressing to the quarter-finals of the Champions league is more important than facing former club Manchester United.
Beckham is set to face his former employers for the first time since leaving Old Trafford for Real Madrid in 2003 following his loan move to Milan from MLS side LA Galaxy.
The two sides meet at the San Siro on Tuesday for the first leg of their round of 16 knock-out tie that has seen all the focus on Beckham taking on the side where he became a household name.
The 34-year-old spent ten years at the club he supported as a boy and admitted the clash would have personal significance, but insisted the emotion would not get the better of him with a place in the last eight at stake.
And despite his side being billed as underdogs, Beckham backed Leonardo's men to beat United - providing they make the most of the home leg before a return date to Old Trafford on March 10.
"It's one of the biggest games for me personally," said Beckham. "But the most important thing is the team going through and beating United which I hope we do.
"I've never had to do it before like this. I don't think it'll be a big problem. I've played in many games.
"Obviously there are a couple of players not here...but the team is just the same, they've got this great team spirit within the squad and that's definitely not changed.
"But I think we are just as strong and when we play well we are a very good team. It's always good to get a good result in the first game especially when you are at home."
Beckham was under no illusions as to the difficulty his side faced on Tuesday, though, and warned of the threat posed by Wayne Rooney.
Rooney has found the net 23 times this season and former England skipper Beckham said the 23-year-old would be United's biggest danger.
He added: "United are on fire, they're playing well. Wayne is scoring goals like he can. It's going to be a tough game.
"I've always said that Wayne is one of the best goal scorers in football. He's proving that and he is at a great club like Manchester United so he's doing what he does best - scoring goals."
Meanwhile, United defender Patrice Evra is likely to come up against Beckham from his left-back berth and the Frenchman said he will do his best to spoil the veteran's return to his former club.
The 28-year-old paid tribute to the right-sided midfielder - but warned him he would not have an easy game.
Evra told the Daily Star Sunday: "I will say welcome to Beckham but I will make sure he doesn't have an easy game.
"I am happy for him about this draw, because he did a lot for Manchester United and I know he wanted to play again against us. I have met him and he is a good person - a real gentleman.
"I'm sure all his old team-mates are looking forward to welcoming him back to Old Trafford when we play the second leg.
"But I'm looking forward more to playing against Milan, because they are more than just Beckham."