Manchester United

Sir Alex Ferguson Says What Shocked Him Most About David Beckham

LONDON - APRIL 27:  David Beckham of Manchester United and his manager Sir Alex Ferguson look in different directions during the FA Barclaycard Premiership match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United held on April 27, 2003 at White Hart Lane, in London. Manchester United won the match 2-0. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistOctober 3, 2013

Sir Alex Ferguson’s troubled relationship with David Beckham remains a distant blot on the record of both former Manchester United employees.

One flying boot saw the No. 7 head toward Real Madrid, but Ferguson has suggested Beckham’s departure didn’t shock him as much as his later decision to play for L.A. Galaxy.

The immortal Scot spoke to Charlie Rose of the PBS Network, as reported by Mark Ogden of The Telegraph:

The thing I couldn’t believe is that he goes to LA Galaxy. I couldn’t understand that. I would never do that, you know?

If I was going to go, I would be making sure he would go to the best, and Real Madrid was the best, I would say, and United. But he reinvented himself.

He goes and plays for the English national team for a couple more years. He goes and plays for AC Milan in the European Cup.

Having mellowed in previous years, it is clear Ferguson has great admiration for Beckham and his triumphs across the globe.

Beckham achieved great success in Los Angeles, winning two MLS Cups, two MLS Supporters' Shields and three Western Conference titles during his five-year spell with the club.

The iconic footballer began his youth career with Tottenham Hotspur and Brimsdown Rovers before joining up with Manchester United’s academy side in 1991.

From there, Beckham progressed under Ferguson and alongside the likes of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and the Neville brothers to define United's era of success.

MANCHESTER - APRIL 26:  Manchester United and England star David Beckham and Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson help launch the One Dream Day and Pepsi Player Party Promotions held at Carrington, in Manchester, England on April 26, 2002. DIGITAL
Gary M. Prior/Getty Images

Although the relationship between the pair broke down after an FA Cup defeat to Arsenal, per Ogden's report, both continued to enjoy major success once Beckham headed to Spain.

The player's departure—while monumental at the time—forced Ferguson into entering the transfer market for a new winger. Little did he know, the acquisition of a young Cristiano Ronaldo would go on to produce many years of further success and one of the greatest individual stars the sporting world has ever seen.

Ferguson—who chose David Moyes to replace him at the Old Trafford helm—covered issues including the new Red Devils boss, Wayne Rooney, the Glazer family and American Civil War in his first interview since retiring.

The 71-year-old believes he "never fell out with" Rooney, even after publicly suggesting the United striker wanted to leave.

Ferguson also showed gratitude toward the Glazer family's decision to stay out of footballing matters at the club and underlined his interest in Doris Kearns' Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.

Even so, the hour-long debate's airing on U.S. television ensured chatter surrounding Beckham was never far away.

With Ferguson and his former charge choosing to end their respective careers in 2013, one has to wonder how the Old Trafford history books would have read if the former England captain stayed in Manchester.

 

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