‘He didn’t talk to me’ - David Beckham claims Sir Alex Ferguson forced him out of Man Utd

The former Manchester United midfielder has said he didn’t want to leave Manchester United in 2003, when he joined Real Madrid.
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David Beckham has claimed he didn’t want to leave Manchester United in 2003, when the ex-winger famously joined Real Madrid.

The now 48-year-old had a high-profile fallout with United manager Sir Alex Ferguson before his exit, and Beckham has said he was effectively forced out of the club. The iconic no.7 came through the club’s youth system as part of the fabled ‘Class of ‘92’ and went on to make 394 appearances for United, became one of the world’s most famous footballers in the process.

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Yet the limelight didn’t sit well with Ferguson and Beckham departed Old Trafford still in his prime years as a player, following an acrimonious relationship between the two. It’s a topic the former England captain discusses at length in his new documentary, titled Beckham.

Ahead of the documentary being released, Beckham spoke to former team-mates Gary Neville and Roy Keane - as well as Jamie Carragher, Jill Scott and Ian Wright - about his turbulent United exit.

“Over the years the manager had always made the right decision in his eyes for the team, and the club,” Beckham reflected, on the latest episode of The Overlap. “That happened to me in the end, I didn’t want to leave Manchester United at the time - we’d just won the league again, but all of a sudden I get a phone call to be told that Manchester United had agreed a deal, and that was the end of it.

“Even trying to speak to the manager after that, he didn’t want to talk to me. It wasn’t out of spite, he was on holiday, he didn’t want to be contacted, he’d made his decision and that was the end of it.

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“It had happened notoriously over the years at Manchester United with Mark Hughes, Andre Kanchelskis, Paul Ince, and all these great players getting let go at a time where we felt they were in their prime, but the manager makes the decisions and that’s all that matters.

“There were certain moments where the gaffer told me something, and I’m quite stubborn – even with my parents, when they told me to do something, I wouldn’t question it, but I’d be a bit hesitant, and I was the same with the manager,” Beckham added.

“At that point where the manager was telling me to do things and I wasn’t doing them, I suppose it goes back to when we talked about getting an agent and he told me to go with someone, he wanted me to go with someone and I didn’t – I went with someone he didn’t agree with. That was a tough moment for us.”

Despite Beckham’s departure from United, the former Old Trafford star feels it was ultimately a decision that worked out best for all parties. “When I was growing up I was a Manchester United fan, so all I ever wanted to do was play my whole career at United, but in all honesty, I now look back at it and think that decision that the manager made was the best one for Manchester United and me,” he said. “I went on to play for unbelievable clubs with unbelievable players, and experienced things.”