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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)

A lacklustre Manchester United required a fortuitous penalty converted by Robin van Persie and a late free kick by Wayne Rooney to overcome 10-man Crystal Palace 2-0 in the Premier League on Saturday.
United manager David Moyes earned his first victory at Old Trafford but only after promoted Palace had midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi sent off for a 43rd-minute foul on Ashley Young that proved to be the turning point in the match.
Van Persie slotted home the resulting penalty, even though the foul was committed outside the box, and Rooney — wearing a thick, black headband to cover a deep gash to his forehead sustained two weeks ago — completed an uninspiring win in the 81st minute.(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

A lacklustre Manchester United required a fortuitous penalty converted by Robin van Persie and a late free kick by Wayne Rooney to overcome 10-man Crystal Palace 2-0 in the Premier League on Saturday.

United manager David Moyes earned his first victory at Old Trafford but only after promoted Palace had midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi sent off for a 43rd-minute foul on Ashley Young that proved to be the turning point in the match.

Van Persie slotted home the resulting penalty, even though the foul was committed outside the box, and Rooney — wearing a thick, black headband to cover a deep gash to his forehead sustained two weeks ago — completed an uninspiring win in the 81st minute.

(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

After 1,500 matches in charge of Manchester United, Alex Ferguson was denied a final victory Sunday to cap the most successful managerial career in British football history.But there was one final landmark for the 71-year-old Scot at West Bromwich Albion — the first 5-5 draw in the Premier League.The official retirement party was last week at home when 76,000 fans at Old Trafford saluted Ferguson and the 13th and last of the record 20 English league titles he delivered for Man United.Referee Michael Oliver blew the whistle on United’s season finale — and the last match of Ferguson’s career — at the Hawthorns in central England. From now on, the defensive fragilities on display Sunday are incoming manager David Moyes’ problem. (Photo: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images)

After 1,500 matches in charge of Manchester United, Alex Ferguson was denied a final victory Sunday to cap the most successful managerial career in British football history.

But there was one final landmark for the 71-year-old Scot at West Bromwich Albion — the first 5-5 draw in the Premier League.

The official retirement party was last week at home when 76,000 fans at Old Trafford saluted Ferguson and the 13th and last of the record 20 English league titles he delivered for Man United.

Referee Michael Oliver blew the whistle on United’s season finale — and the last match of Ferguson’s career — at the Hawthorns in central England. From now on, the defensive fragilities on display Sunday are incoming manager David Moyes’ problem. (Photo: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images)

David Beckham is retiring: The end of an era
The 38-year-old Beckham, who recently won a league title in a fourth country with Paris Saint-Germain, has become a global superstar since starting his career at Manchester United.
“I’m thankful to PSG for giving me the opportunity to continue but I feel now is the right time to finish my career, playing at the highest level,” Beckham said in a statement Thursday. (Photo: Getty Images/AFP/Files)

David Beckham is retiring: The end of an era

The 38-year-old Beckham, who recently won a league title in a fourth country with Paris Saint-Germain, has become a global superstar since starting his career at Manchester United.

“I’m thankful to PSG for giving me the opportunity to continue but I feel now is the right time to finish my career, playing at the highest level,” Beckham said in a statement Thursday. (Photo: Getty Images/AFP/Files)

Amid a carnival atmosphere at a rainy Old Trafford, Manchester United gave the retiring Alex Ferguson and Paul Scholes a perfect send-off in their final home match by beating Swansea 2-1 in the Premier League.
Ferguson, who is stepping down at the end of the season after nearly 27 years as United manager, jumped out of his seat and punched the air in delight after Rio Ferdinand volleyed the winning goal into the back of the net in the 86th minute.
Scholes played 66 minutes in his last home match before coming off to a standing ovation from more than 76,000 fans taking one final opportunity to salute a manager and player who have contributed so much to the club over the past three decades. (Photo by Andrew Yates/AFP/Getty Images)

Amid a carnival atmosphere at a rainy Old Trafford, Manchester United gave the retiring Alex Ferguson and Paul Scholes a perfect send-off in their final home match by beating Swansea 2-1 in the Premier League.

Ferguson, who is stepping down at the end of the season after nearly 27 years as United manager, jumped out of his seat and punched the air in delight after Rio Ferdinand volleyed the winning goal into the back of the net in the 86th minute.

Scholes played 66 minutes in his last home match before coming off to a standing ovation from more than 76,000 fans taking one final opportunity to salute a manager and player who have contributed so much to the club over the past three decades. (Photo by Andrew Yates/AFP/Getty Images)

Chelsea’s David Luiz, left, jumps for the ball against Manchester United’s Robin van Persie during their English FA Cup quarter-final soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Sunday March 10, 2013. (Photo: Jon Super/The Associated Press)

Chelsea’s David Luiz, left, jumps for the ball against Manchester United’s Robin van Persie during their English FA Cup quarter-final soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Sunday March 10, 2013. (Photo: Jon Super/The Associated Press)

Shinji Kagawa’s hat trick and a stunning goal from Wayne Rooney maintained Manchester United’s march to the Premier League title on Saturday, while Rafa Benitez was spared a fierce backlash from Chelsea fans in the team’s 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion.

United provisionally moved 15 points clear with a 4-0 thrashing of Norwich at Old Trafford, with Japan midfielder Kagawa opening the scoring just before halftime and grabbing two more well-taken goals to become the first Asian player to score a hat trick in England’s top division.

Shinji Kagawa’s hat trick and a stunning goal from Wayne Rooney maintained Manchester United’s march to the Premier League title on Saturday, while Rafa Benitez was spared a fierce backlash from Chelsea fans in the team’s 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion.

United provisionally moved 15 points clear with a 4-0 thrashing of Norwich at Old Trafford, with Japan midfielder Kagawa opening the scoring just before halftime and grabbing two more well-taken goals to become the first Asian player to score a hat trick in England’s top division.

Manchester United will head into 2013 with a seven-point cushion atop the Premier League after beating West Bromwich Albion 2-0 on Saturday, although Manchester City kept in touch Saturday with a gutsy 4-3 win at Norwich.
The champions withstood the first-half dismissal of playmaker Samir Nasri for an apparent headbutt, above, to hold off Norwich, with Edin Dzeko (2) and Sergio Aguero answering manager Roberto Mancini’s call for more goals from his strikers.
(Photo by Ian Kington/AFP/Getty Images)

Manchester United will head into 2013 with a seven-point cushion atop the Premier League after beating West Bromwich Albion 2-0 on Saturday, although Manchester City kept in touch Saturday with a gutsy 4-3 win at Norwich.

The champions withstood the first-half dismissal of playmaker Samir Nasri for an apparent headbutt, above, to hold off Norwich, with Edin Dzeko (2) and Sergio Aguero answering manager Roberto Mancini’s call for more goals from his strikers.

(Photo by Ian Kington/AFP/Getty Images)

Manchester United stayed in control of the English Premier League by beating Sunderland 3-1 on Saturday, keeping Manchester City at arm’s length following the champions’ impressive win at Newcastle by the same scoreline.
Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney teamed up to preserve United’s six-point lead, with the in-form strikers both scoring at Old Trafford to add to a sublime strike by midfielder Tom Cleverley.
City recovered from its agonizing derby loss to United last weekend by winning at St. James’ Park, courtesy of goals by Sergio Aguero, Javi Garcia and Yaya Toure, but United’s victory ensures Alex Ferguson’s side will be top at Christmas.
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Manchester United stayed in control of the English Premier League by beating Sunderland 3-1 on Saturday, keeping Manchester City at arm’s length following the champions’ impressive win at Newcastle by the same scoreline.

Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney teamed up to preserve United’s six-point lead, with the in-form strikers both scoring at Old Trafford to add to a sublime strike by midfielder Tom Cleverley.

City recovered from its agonizing derby loss to United last weekend by winning at St. James’ Park, courtesy of goals by Sergio Aguero, Javi Garcia and Yaya Toure, but United’s victory ensures Alex Ferguson’s side will be top at Christmas.

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Another Premier League weekend scarred by racist abuse, and the coin attack that left Rio Ferdinand dripping in blood at the Manchester derby, has English authorities fearing a return to the spite-filled climate when the country was a footballing outcast.

Despite English football fans being praised last month by FIFA President Sepp Blatter as positive examples for the world, unrest at globally televised Premier League matches looks to be mounting to revive memories of the hostilities in the 1970s and 80s.

“To see Rio Ferdinand with blood on his face is absolutely terrible,” English Football Association chairman David Bernstein said Monday. “I think it’s disturbing that we’re seeing a recurrence of these types of incidents.

“We’ve had racial abuse issues, the odd pitch incursion, things being thrown at players. It’s very unacceptable and has to be dealt with severely.”

Prosecutors acted swiftly Monday to charge nine men in connection with disorder at the previous day’s top-of-the table derby in which Manchester United won 3-2 at Manchester City.

(Source: sports.nationalpost.com)