David Beckham: Sir Alex Ferguson praises 'amazing person'

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Ferguson on retiring and Beckham

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has described David Beckham as an "amazing person" and says his ability to reinvent himself is "absolutely incredible".

Paris St-Germain midfielder Beckham, 38, has said he will retire from football at the end of the season.

He played for 11 years under Ferguson at United between 1992 and 2003.

"You talk about longevity and in many ways reinventing himself, it has been absolutely incredible," Ferguson said.

"When he went to America there wasn't a person in this place who really thought he could have a career," Ferguson added about Beckham's move to LA Galaxy in 2007.

"Yet he went on and still played for his country, he played for AC Milan in European ties and he played for PSG in European ties, and I don't think anyone could have imagined that."

When Ferguson retired last week, Beckham described him as a "father figure".

The United boss signed the Leytonstone youngster as an 11-year-old in 1991 and Beckham graduated from the 'Class of 92' along with Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Nicky Butt.

Beckham went on to make almost 400 appearances under Ferguson, winning six Premier League titles, a Champions League medal and two FA Cups.

But the pair had a fall-out in 2003 following an FA Cup defeat by Arsenal when Ferguson kicked a boot in the Manchester United dressing room which hit Beckham in the face.

Later that year, Beckham moved to Real Madrid for £24.5m.

The former England captain joined LA Galaxy four years later and Ferguson praised the part his athletic ability had played in such a successful career. In winning the Ligue 1 title with PSG last week, Beckham became the first English player to win top-flight league titles in four different countries.

Ferguson added: "The one thing he always had was unbelievable stamina as a kid. He had the best stamina in the club.

"He could run all day, and that has allowed him to stay in the game at that kind of level, playing for his country in his mid 30s. Coming from American football to do that is quite amazing, and he is an amazing person.

"I think he's picked the right time [to retire]. He's won the league again with PSG and he is exactly the same as me, he has plenty of things to do.

"He's a young man, we know that fashion will be his role I would imagine but he will have plenty of things to do."

Manchester United manager-in-waiting David Moyes added to the Beckham tributes, having played with him when he was at loan at Preston in the 1994-95 season.

The Everton boss said: "He's been a great player, a tremendous ambassador. I think everyone who is English is tremendously proud of what David Beckham has done over the years and how he has conducted himself.

"I was very fortunate to play with David when he came to Preston North End, he was a great lad then, very humble and really just wanted to play.

"Everybody who was part of that team [at Preston] still remembers him and still wants to talk about how they played in a team with David Beckham. I'm no different."

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