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)
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.