A decade after kicking a boot at David Beckham’s head, Alex Ferguson used his autobiography to criticize the star’s apparent pre-occupation with fame.
At Manchester United, Ferguson developed Beckham into one of the world’s most recognizable sportsmen, but the midfielder left United in 2003 for Real Madrid under a cloud after his relationship with the manager broke down.
“David was the only player I managed who chose to be famous, who made it his mission to be known outside the game,” Ferguson wrote in his autobiography, which will be released on Thursday. “I felt uncomfortable with the celebrity aspect of his life.”
By moving to the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007 after four years at Madrid, Ferguson said Beckham “surrendered a part of his career.”
In the 2002-03 season, Ferguson had concerns that Beckham’s “application level had dropped” and his “work-rate was dropping.” …
“The big problem for me — and I’m a football man — he fell in love with [former Spice Girl] Victoria and that changed everything,” Ferguson said Tuesday at his book launch. (Photos: Paul Baker/AFP/Getty Images, Kevin Winter/Getty Images, Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images)
Crystal Palace’s mascot Kayla the eagle flies before the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur at Selhurst Park in south London on August 18, 2013. (Photo: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images)