Manchester United are still the best: Beckham
Barcelona may be European champions, but to David Beckham, Manchester United will always be number one.
Possibly for the last time, Beckham faced his old club in the early hours of yesterday morning, but even in a deep-lying midfield role, from which he produced an excellent personal performance, the 36-year-old could not prevent the MLS All-Stars slipping to a 4-0 defeat against Sir Alex Ferguson's men.
Not that Beckham allowed it to spoil his evening.
He had a friendly chat with Ferguson after the final whistle and it is clear the affection for a club he supported as a boy, but left for Real Madrid in 2003, still remains.
“They are the biggest team in the world and they are the best,” he said.
“There is no other team like them. I have been lucky enough to play with AC Milan and Real Madrid, but there is no other club with that attitude. Any new player that comes into Manchester United feels it straight away.
“The manager expects you to work hard and win games. It is instilled into you at a very young age at Manchester United and it carries on all the way through.
“There is a never-say-die attitude. It is what Manchester United have.”
Beckham and Ferguson made their peace when the former England skipper was on a short stint with AC Milan and the pair exchanged a handshake during a Champions League training session at the San Siro, prior to an encounter with Inter.
The pair may have had their differences over Beckham's celebrity lifestyle, and in particular, the influence of his wife Victoria, but the Londoner claims he still owes a debt of gratitude to the man he describes as “a father figure”.
“I had many successful years at Manchester United playing under Sir Alex Ferguson,” he said.
“I wouldn't be in the position I am today if it wasn't for him.
“He gave me a chance when I was 16 and I owe him a lot.
“He has been a father figure to me for many years. To play against Manchester United, with Sir Alex Ferguson still as manager and some of the players I played with, is always going to be emotional.”