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Ferguson was 'father figure' to me, says Beckham
( 2003-07-03 09:18) (Reuters)

David Beckham says Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has been a 'father figure' to him despite their fluctuating relationship.

David Beckham chose to wear the No 23 in Real Madrid
Speaking to Manchester United TV after completing his move to Real Madrid on a four-year contract on Wednesday, Beckham credited Ferguson with making him the player he is today.

"He was the reason I joined Man United, apart from being a club I supported. He's always been a father figure to me and I will never forget that," Beckham said.

"People have always said that me and the manager have had our ups and downs and of course we have.

"That's part and parcel of life. But me and the manager have always had a good relationship."

Ferguson and Beckham have fallen out several times.

The infamous flying boot affair made headlines in February when a furious Ferguson kicked a loose boot flying across the dressing room after United's FA Cup defeat by Arsenal and it hit the forehead of the highest-profile player in the country.

Beckham emerged stitched up and angry while his manager sheepishly wrote the incident off as a freak accident.

Two months later, with Arsenal again the opposition, Ferguson left Beckham on the bench and he was overlooked again for the Champions League quarter-final second leg against Real Madrid.

Reflecting on those matches, Beckham said he had no problems accepting the decision to drop him.

"That happens in football. Sometimes you're out the team," he said.

"Me being the person and the player I am, I like to be involved in every game possible so when you're left out of a game I was disappointed, but there are great players at Man United and you have to accept it, which is what I did.

"I am sure it will happen at Real Madrid."

Beckham said that both he and United now had to move on following his move to the Spanish capital.

"It (United) has been a massive part of my life and will always remain a big part of my life. But life goes on and I have to move on as well. Manchester United will move on because they have a bunch of great players," he said.

"To be part of them for 13 years and to grow up with Nicky (Butt), Scholesy (Paul Scholes), Ryan (Giggs), Gary and Phil (Neville) has been a great pleasure and a great honour. They will always be friends, as will all the players, but they will move on as well as I will have to.

"To be leaving like this is sad for me. Roy Keane, a great captain, will lead them on to every success. Man United will always have a special place in my heart."

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