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Why David Beckham had to go – Sir Alex Ferguson’s book lays into global superstar, MLS move

Oct 23, 2013, 11:45 AM EDT

File photo of Manchester United's David Beckham standing with manager Sir Alex Ferguson before their match against Charlton Athletic in the English premier league match at Old Trafford Reuters

We already heard about Sir Alex Ferguson‘s latest book launch earlier, as Roy Keane felt the wrath of Fergie’s words.

And former Manchester United star David Beckham wasn’t left out of the firing line either.

Ferguson, who signed Beckham as a teenager and brought him up from London to Manchester, was often described as a father figure to Becks in the early days of his career. However United’s legendary manager revealed Beckham’s transfer to Real Madrid in 2003 was about more than soccer.

“The minute a Manchester United player thought he was bigger than the manager, he had to go,” he wrote. “David thought he was bigger than Alex Ferguson. That was the death knell for him.”

Ferguson also didn’t agree with Beckham’s lifestyle on the field, following his marriage to Victoria Adams, a member of the pop group the Spice Girls.

(MORE: Sir Alex Ferguson, Roy Keane lock horns after Fergie’s book launch)

The celebrity lifestyle that came with Beckham’s new wife was too much for Fergie to handle.

“David was the only player I managed who chose to be famous, who made it his mission to be known outside the game,” wrote Ferguson. “I felt uncomfortable with the celebrity aspect of his life.”

In a press conference on Tuesday to launch his book, Ferguson added: “He fell in love with Victoria – that changed everything.”

“I’m a football man, this is the point I’m coming to,” Ferguson said to Sky Sports. “I’d rather he focused on being the best player he could’ve been for Manchester United and enjoy playing with the likes of Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes and the pantheon of players having a great career of 20-odd years at United.”

And Ferguson also wasn’t too complimentary on Beckham’s decision to join MLS and LA Galaxy. In fact, not at all.

“If he’d have asked for my advice about going to LA Galaxy, I’d have told him ‘you don’t leave Real Madrid to go to LA Galaxy,'” Ferguson said. ” So he had his reasons for that, and maybe now when you think about it he played in a Champions League quarterfinal for AC Milan, and two years later he plays in the quarters for PSG. He had incredible qualities.”

  1. mdac1012 - Oct 23, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    There are 250 million reasons Beckham went to L.A. As he says in his book, Sir Alex is a football man, all his decisions are based on football, first and foremost. Beckham made decisions based not only on football but extending his brand. The move to L.A. was more about business than football.

  2. talgrath - Oct 23, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    Beckham was sort of an example of the change in the landscape of sports worldwide in general and English football in particular. With the rise of the internet and 24 hour cable news and sports, sports stars have become celebrities in and of themselves. Beckham was a celebrity before he ever dated a Spice girl, their marriage helped to bring him further into the spotlight, but I’m pretty sure we’d still be talking about him today without the marriage. Many women find Beckham attractive, he was a great player with a touch for the spectacular and he was usually on a winning team; if there is one thing I disagree with Ferguson about, it is the idea that Beckham’s marriage meant he chose celebrity.

  3. edpeters101 - Oct 24, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    OK, Sir Alex Ferguson is for Sir Alex, and David Beckam is for David. Both (probably Alex more-so than David) will say almost anything to sell a book that will pay them some money, but beyond that will boost their ego’s. YMMV

  4. braxtonrob - Oct 24, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    I’m like Alex Ferguson less and less with each passing review of his book.

  5. braxtonrob - Oct 24, 2013 at 5:46 PM


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