Wednesday 7 December 2016

Beckham praises 'father figure' Fergie following MLS All-star defeat to United

Published 28/07/2011 | 12:59

David Beckham has paid tribute to Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson for believing him at the start of his career.

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The LA Galaxy midfielder came through the United ranks as a youngster, and went on to win the Premier League six times, the FA Cup twice and the Champions League in 1999.

Beckham, who played for the MLS All-Stars in the 4-0 defeat to United on Wednesday, went on to hail his former boss as a “father figure” to him.

“I had many years, many successful years playing under Sir Alex Ferguson,” Beckham said.

“I wouldn't be in the position I am today if it wasn't for him, because he gave me a chance when I was 16, 17 years old and he had the faith to give youngsters a chance. I owe him a lot. He was a father figure to me for many years.”

The former England captain also admitted that it was emotional to face his old club for what will probably be the final time before he eventually retires.

“Obviously, to play against Manchester United still with Sir Alex Ferguson as manager, still with some of the players I played with and the fans I played in front of for many years, is emotional,” Beckham said.

“It's always going to be emotional coming up against Manchester United. It's always difficult as well.”

United's fourth straight victory on their five-match tour was completed by Danny Welbeck, to leave Beckham empty-handed against his former club.

"When you don't put chances away against a team like Manchester United, they will capitalise," said Beckham.

United secured their 19th domestic title last season, and Beckham says any new signings at the club can take on a winning mentality straight away.

“Any new player who comes into Manchester United, they feel that straight away,” added Beckham.

“That seems installed into you from a very young age as a Manchester United youth team player and it carries on all the way through the team. It's [a] never-say-die attitude, is what Manchester United have.”

Whilst Beckham returns to his day job with LA Galaxy, United will head to Washington on Friday for a meeting with DC United, the team that defeated them at Wembley in May.

"It is only pre-season," cautioned Ferguson. "I just want the players to go out and enjoy it."

“If you play at that [United's] level you don't stop at one [or] two-nil,” he added.

“You want to work hard because you want to get your fitness. You're not playing at a club like Manchester United to go through the motions and just to win 1-0.”

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