Beckham and Keane disagree over midfielder's 2003 Man United exit

David Beckham and Roy Keane disagree over whether his Man United exit in 2003 was ‘best for the team’ – as the former Red Devils skipper admits he was JEALOUS of his teammate’s exploits abroad

  • David Beckham make a swift and shocking exit from Man United after 11 seasons
  • The 48-year-old joined up with the likes of Zidane and Ronaldo at Real Madrid
  • Click HERE to listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s ‘It’s All Kicking Off’

David Beckham reckons Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision to sell him to Real Madrid in 2003 was best for all parties. 

The Inter Miami co-owner’s departure from Old Trafford after 11 trophy-laden seasons sent shockwaves and began the midfielder’s odyssey of elite European and North American clubs. 

The 48-year-old, who – as well as playing in the Spanish capital – turned out for PSG, AC Milan and LA Galaxy, recalled his ‘unbelievable’ experience playing alongside some of the game’s greatest players. 

But disagreed with his former captain about the effect his exit had on the United dressing room. 

‘When I was growing up I was a Manchester United fan, so all I ever wanted to do was play my whole career at United,’ Beckham said on the Stick to Football podcast, brought to you by Sky Bet.

David Beckham believes his Man United exit was best for the club and for him personally

Keane and Beckham spent a decade together at Old Trafford and won six Premier League titles, two FA Cups and the Champions League

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Beckham joined a star-studded Real Madrid side at the height of the Galacticos era that included the likes of Zidane, Figo, Raul and Ronaldo

‘But in all honesty, I now look back at it and think that decision that the manager made was the best one for Manchester United and me.

‘I went on to play for unbelievable clubs with unbelievable players, and experienced things.’

Beckham got his hands on LaLiga and Ligue 1 titles, a Spanish Super Cup and two MLS Cups after leaving Old Trafford. 

While United fell to their joint lowest league position under Ferguson in the two seasons that followed and won just an FA Cup before Keane made his exit in 2005. 

As a result the former fiery skipper believes his teammate left a gaping hole in the squad and likened his exit to that of Paul Ince in 1995. 

‘I don’t know if it was the best for Manchester United [selling David Beckham].’ Keane said. ‘It ended up being brilliant for you [David Beckham] living in a new country and trying something else, but I certainly don’t think it was good for the dressing room.

‘I’d say the same for when Paul Ince and the other lads left – when players go, you do think there is no logical reason for a player to leave at that time.’

Roy Keane spent a single season with Celtic after ending his 12-year Man United career 

The former United skipper revealed that he wishes he took the chance to play for a club abroad

In the revealing exchange the Sky Sports pundit also shared his regret over never playing abroad himself. 

Keane opted to sign for Celtic after leaving United before retiring a year later but said he wishes he had played his football further afield. 

‘I wish I’d gone abroad.’ He added. ‘My contract was up a couple of times and I had opportunities to leave on a free [transfer], and a part of me is jealous when I see other lads going abroad because it’s a great experience for your family.

‘I was really happy at Manchester United, but if I knew it was going to end as it did, I definitely should have gone abroad and experienced a different league.’


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