Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 23rd 2013 Contents LONDON---A decade after kicking
a boot at David Beck-
guson used his auto-
biography to criticise
the star s apparent
At Manchester United,
Beckham into one of the
world s most recognisable
sportsmen, but the mid-
fielder left United in 2003
for Real Madrid under a
cloud after his relationship
with the manager broke
"David was the only player
I managed who chose to be
famous, who made it his mis-
sion to be known outside the
game," the 71-year-old Ferguson
wrote in his autobiography,
which will be released tomorrow.
"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 "appli-
cation level had dropped" and his
"work-rate was dropping."
There was no way back after the
February 2003 match against Arsenal.
Ferguson was unhappy that Beckham
neglected to track back when Arsenal
scored its second goal in a 2-0 win.
"As usual, with David at that time,
he was dismissive of my criticism," Fer-
guson wrote. "It s possible that he was
starting to think he was no longer needed
to track back and chase."
In the dressing room, Ferguson recalls
Beckham swearing nearby before the boot
"I moved towards him, and as I approached
I kicked a boot. It hit him right above the eye,"
Ferguson recalled. "Of course he rose to have
a go at me and the players stopped him."
After that, Ferguson told the board that
Beckham had to leave.
"The big problem for me---and I m a football
man---he fell in love with (former Spice Girl)
Victoria and that changed everything," Fer-
guson said yesterday at his book launch.
In the book, Ferguson detailed Beckham s
insubordination, despairing when he refused
to remove a beanie hat at a team dinner.
By that time, Ferguson said, Beckham had
been "swallowed up" by publicity agents.
"David thought he was bigger than Alex
Ferguson," Ferguson wrote. "You can-
not have a player taking over the
dressing room. Many tried. ... The
focus of authority at Manchester
United is the manager s office. That
was the death knell for him."
Beckham was sold to Real Madrid
in 2003, and made the surprise
move away from Europe to the
Los Angeles Galaxy.
"I imagine he also had his eyes
on Hollywood and the impact it
would have on the next phase
of his career," Ferguson wrote.
"There was no footballing rea-
son to go to America."
Beckham ended his stint in
LA last year, then spent five
months at Paris Saint-Ger-
main before retiring.
"He is an icon to every kid
in the world," Ferguson said
Tuesday, stressing that he
Ferguson retired in May
after winning his 13th Pre-
mier League title, bringing
an end to the most suc-
cessful managerial career
in British football his-
tory. Among the 38 tro-
phies won between
1986 and 2013 were
Here are other
highlights from Fer-
guson s new auto-
up the first pub-
lished in 1999.
The final days of
Ferguson s reign were overshadowed
by Rooney asking to leave United due to his
lack of playing time. The transfer request was
refused by successor David Moyes.
Rooney, who joined United from Everton
in 2004, first stunned Ferguson in 2010 by
asking to leave, complaining about the apparent
lack of stars in the team.
In the book, Ferguson recalled Rooney telling
him United should have signed Germany play-
maker Mesut Ozil in 2010 before he joined
Real Madrid from Werder Bremen.
"My reply was that it was none of his busi-
ness who we should have gone for," Ferguson
Ferguson said yesterday that Ozil, who joined
Arsenal in September, was "not on our radar"
As for Rooney, Ferguson, who remains at
United as a director, is delighted with how
the striker has performed this season.
"Do you think I would drop Wayne Rooney
if he was playing the way he is now? Absolutely
no way," Ferguson said at the Institute of
Directors in London.
As a Scotsman who briefly coached his
country at the 1986 World Cup, Ferguson was
never going to take charge of rival England.
The English Football Association tried---
twice. First, in 1999 before Kevin Keegan took
charge, and again the following year before
Sven-Goran Eriksson was hired.
"It wasn t a bed of nails I was ever tempted
to lie on," Ferguson wrote.
Later on, Ferguson was irritated by England s
medical staff turning up at United s training
ground to check on players.
"Often I felt that this was an insult to us,"
Ferguson wrote. "I wondered whether my
Scottishness was a factor, a reason not to trust
In the book Ferguson criticises the "savage
tongue" of former captain Roy Keane, who
was forced out of United in 2005 after the
Irishman s rant against his teammates and
assistant coach Carlos Queiroz on United s
television channel. The interview has never
"I just couldn t lose my control in this sit-
uation," Ferguson said yesterday. "If I had let
it pass and allowed it to happen the players
would have viewed me differently ... through-
out my career I have been strong enough to
deal with important issues like that. Roy over-
stepped his mark. There was no other thing
we could do."
Keane accused Ferguson of bringing his dis-
pute with shareholder John Magnier over a
racehorse into the club.
The legal battle before the club was sold to
the Glazer family in 2005 is one issue Ferguson
doesn t go into detail on in his memoirs. Sim-
ilarly, Ferguson only has praise for the American
owners despite fans criticising the cost of
servicing the debt resulting from their leveraged
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
CAIRO---Egypt plans to host its first
international match in Cairo since
2011, ignoring calls to stage its World
Cup playoff against Ghana at a neu-
tral venue because of ongoing politi-
Egypt s Football Association
spokesman Azmy Megahed said
Tuesday the defense ministry had
authorised the "full capacity" of
Cairo s 30,000-seat Air Defense sta-
dium for the second leg match on
Egypt has mainly played behind
closed doors since a stadium riot in
Port Said in February 2012.
Next month s game, which follows
a 6-1 win for Ghana last week, will
decide which team reaches the 2014
Ghana s FA has asked Fifa to move
the match because of often deadly
protests in Cairo.
FIFA has given Egypt until October
28 to provide "comprehensive secu-
rity assurances" for the game. (AP)
World Cup playoff to go ahead in Cairo
mission was to be famous
Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson poses with his book 'My
Autobiography' during a press conference in central London, yesterday.
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