Alex Ferguson to manage David Beckham again at Old Trafford
Manchester United will host match for Unicef in which Ferguson will take charge of Great Britian and Ireland team against Zinedine Zidane's World XI
Published 02/10/2015 | 10:28
Alex Ferguson is returning to the Old Trafford dugout next month to manage David Beckham and a host of other stars in a charity match.
For 11 years Beckham was a member of Ferguson's all-conquering Manchester United team, but the pair had an acrimonious split in 2003 after the Scot accidentally kicked a boot that struck the former England captain above his left eye.
Ferguson sold Beckham to Real Madrid four months after the dressing room incident and then criticised the ex-England captain in his autobiography, but the pair are now on good terms.
Beckham contacted Ferguson recently to see if he wanted to get involved in a charity match designed to raise funds for Unicef and the former United manager has accepted the offer.
The 73-year-old will manage a Great Britain and Ireland XI, which will be captained by Beckham, at Old Trafford on November 14. It will be the first time the retired Scot has returned to the dugout since calling time on his 26-year reign as United manager in 2013.
In the opposing dugout will be Carlo Ancelotti, who managed Beckham at AC Milan and Paris St Germain. The Italian will manage a Rest of the World XI led by former Real Madrid and France star Zinedine Zidane. The other players involved will be announced over the next month.
Beckham, who has been a Unicef ambassador for 10 years, said: "I want a world where children can grow up safe from violence, free from poverty and protected from preventable diseases.
"This match gives me the perfect opportunity to raise awareness and vital funds to help reach the children who need it most. I am delighted that my friend Zizou (Zidane) will join me in leading two teams, full of our friends and team mates, at the best stadium in the world."
I never thought that I would be putting my boots back on but it's for a great cause, the incredible work of @unicef for children. I'm honoured to be playing at Old Trafford again, captaining a Great Britain & Ireland team managed by the great Sir Alex Ferguson against a Rest of the World side captained by my friend @zidane and managed by the legend, @mrancelotti I hope to see you there @manchesterunited on November 14th. Tickets on sale from today at www.manutd.com/tickets #MatchForChildren @unicef
The former England captain also said he felt honoured to be taking part of the match in a post on his Instagram account.
"I never thought that I would be putting my boots back on but it's for a great cause, the incredible work of Unicef for children," he said.
"I'm honoured to be playing at Old Trafford again, captaining a Great Britain & Ireland team managed by the great Sir Alex Ferguson against a Rest of the World side captained by my friend Zinedine Zidane and managed by the legend, Carlo Ancelotti. I hope to see you there."
But Beckham has also revealed he is still wary of openly drinking alcohol in front of "father figure" Sir Alex Ferguson.
"The other day I saw him for the first time in a long time. We'd never even think about having a little glass of wine or beer (as players) in front of him but the other day someone handed me a glass of wine and I was talking to him (Ferguson) for 20 minutes with the wine hidden behind my back.
"Me, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes all said the same thing, we all hid the glass of wine behind our back."
Former Italian referee Pierluigi Collina will officiate the game, which is being called 'The Match for Children'.