Soccer superstar David Beckham has hit back at critics who took aim at him for sharing his time between teams in Italy and Los Angeles - because he's the one who's suffering.
Dozens of fans of Major League Soccer (MLS) team Los Angeles Galaxy blasted Beckham for signing part-time with AC Milan when last year's U.S. season was over.
His stint in Italy overlapped with the start of the MLS season at the beginning of 2009, prompting criticism from some fans - but Beckham insists it is vital he remains fit to achieve his dreams of playing in a fourth World Cup for England.
Appearing on Fox Sports Radio on Wednesday (04Nov09), Beckham said, "I go away and leave my family for six months. They come and see me for a week every eight weeks - I hate being away from them.
"I go and live in Italy and I can't take my family because my boys are settled in school... It kills me."
And Beckham told radio hosts Petros Papadakis and Matt Smith he took a financial hit to play for both teams.
The soccer star will return to AC Milan when the Galaxy's current MLS play-off run is over.
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