AC Milan v Newcastle United: Champions League return for Magpies is ‘proud moment’ for Howe

AC Milan v Newcastle United: Champions League return for Magpies is 'proud moment' for Howe

Newcastle players walk to their plane
Newcastle’s flight to Milan was delayed by about two and a half hours on Monday because of the Italian weather

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe says it will be a “proud moment” when he attends his first Champions League game and leads the Magpies against AC Milan at the San Siro.

The Italy trip marks a return to Europe’s top competition for Newcastle after 20 years away.

“It is a game of football and I think that’s just how we have to approach it,” said Howe.

“Yes, it’s a special game and we have to be at our best.”

Howe, who spent the majority of his career as a player and manager at Bournemouth, revealed he has never been at a Champions League game before – even as a spectator.

His debut comes at the home of the seven-time European champions.

“I’ve always been too busy working to take one in,” Howe said. “But it’s not something I’ve given any thought to.

“Yes, it will be a very proud moment for me. I think it will be a very proud moment for everyone connected with Newcastle to be back in the Champions League after a long period away.”

Newcastle face a Milan side who lost their derby 5-1 to Inter Milan on Saturday.

Magpies midfielder Sandro Tonali goes up against the club he left this summer for £53m.

“It will be the most thrilling feeling to come out into the stadium packed with people again,” the Italy international said.

“They let me live my dream here at AC Milan, but now I come back as a rival. I will have a lot of feelings.

“Everything happened so fast with the transfer, I was overwhelmed at first, but I have come across a wonderful team, wonderful staff and play for people who love football. The people of Newcastle will help anyone.”

Newcastle’s last game in the Champions League was a 2-0 home defeat by Barcelona in March 2003.

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