England midfielder David Beckham has criticised the "unprofessional" conduct of Los Angeles Galaxy team-mate Landon Donovan after the USA star publicly suggested he had shown a lack of commitment to the club and the MLS.
Beckham has returned to the Galaxy after a five-month loan at Italian giants AC Milan and is seeking showdown talks with Donovan over the comments made in Grant Wahl's book; 'The Beckham Experiment'.
"It's unprofessional," Beckham blasted on his return to the USA. "In 17 years, I have played with the biggest teams in the world and the biggest players and not once been criticised for my professionalism."
Donovan claimed the former England captain was a poor leader and that his interest in Major League Soccer had faded, despite being paid 'more than double anybody in the league'.
Beckham responded by saying: "In every football player's eyes throughout the world it would be unprofessional to speak out about a team-mate, especially in the press and not to your face.
"It's important to get this cleared up, and I will be speaking to Landon either this evening or over the next couple of days."
Being in Italy helped Beckham keep his game sharp. And even though it involved a month-long saga of negotiations involving MLS, Milan, and the Galaxy, Beckham said it was for the best.
He also said he would do it again in 2010 if given the opportunity, so he can make one last World Cup appearance with England.
"To be involved in the World Cup and to be involved with this England squad, I have to give myself the chance to be at that top level. I'll do that personally and anything to do that. It's just saying that for the moment, this is what I need to do. It doesn't mean I'm running away from a project I believe in."
"I think the experiences I've had can only help this team," Beckham said.
"I'm personally very professional when I am on the field. I don't care what people say about me off the field, once I'm on the field I'm professional and if there is a chance for him to score, I will be giving him the ball. Me and Landon will talk, but that will be a private conversation."