Football

Beckham: I made mistakes at Man United

David Beckham has accepted that he made mistakes in his time at Manchester United which led to a breakdown in relations with manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Beckham progressed from the youth ranks to become one of the biggest stars at Old Trafford but was sold by Ferguson to Real Madrid in 2003.

Beckham accepts that his celebrity status and marriage to Spice Girl Victoria gave Ferguson cause to doubt his professionalism.

Speaking about his life and career on BBC Radio, Beckham said: "At 41, I'd like to think that I'm more grown-up and a little wiser than when I was 21.

"There were certain decisions that I made back then that were wrong decisions and I can see why the manager got so frustrated by certain things.

"There was one occasion when Victoria was in Ireland, I had a day off so I flew over to Ireland. I didn't feel I needed to tell the manager what I was doing.

IN TROUBLE

"As I was coming back at 6am for training, I was sat in the lounge and the manager walked in. He didn't talk to me. I knew I was in a little bit of trouble.

"I can understand the manager then thinking, 'Okay, he's not looking after his body,' or 'He's not resting as he should do'. All the manager ever wanted was the best for the team, the best for the club and the best for the individual."

Beckham and Ferguson's most public falling out came in Feb 2003 when, after a defeat by Arsenal, Ferguson kicked a boot at Beckham that left him with a cut above the eye. Beckham described it as a "freak accident", adding: "He could never do it again, because I have seen him in training."

But it was Ferguson who provided Beckham with much-needed reassurance following his sending-off during England's World Cup quarter-final loss to Argentina in 1998.

"The first person to call me after that game was Sir Alex Ferguson," said the former England captain. "He said, 'Son, get back to Manchester, you'll be fine'. - PA SPORT

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