David Beckham left Manchester United for Spanish giants Real Madrid in 2003.
Former Manchester United winger David Beckham said he did not watch the club for three years after leaving Old Trafford for Real Madrid, with the ex-England captain “shocked and devastated” over his departure.
After six Premier League titles and a Champions League trophy among others, Beckham ended his association with boyhood club United as he joined Spanish giants Madrid in a blockbuster deal worth €35million in 2003.
Beckham’s relationship with manager Alex Ferguson had soured at the time, which prompted the Scotsman and United to initially agree a deal with Barcelona before the 1999 Ballon d’Or runner-up set his heart on the Santiago Bernabeu.
However, Beckham insisted he never wanted to leave Manchester, where he first arrived as a trainee in 1991.
“I didn’t watch Manchester United for three years [after leaving],” he said on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.
Beckham continued: “I was shocked and devastated because we had just won the league that season.
“[without a doubt I wanted to retired at Old Trafford] Because Manchester United were my team. I had no aspirations to leave United.
“There was never any revenge. I was hurt and angry at the time at how the situation had gone because throughout the season I was left out of certain games but never thought it would lead to me leaving.
“But I had heard rumours I might be sold. I was holiday in the States with Victoria and one of my friends called and told me it was on Sky Sports that United had agreed terms with Barcelona. I said that wasn’t right, I don’t know anything about it.
“I then flew back to London. I tried to speak to Peter Kenyon and tried to speak to the manager and he said no. I said well I need to speak to him and understand what is going on. He said it’s true, we have agreed a deal.
“That is when I spoke to my agent and said if I am going to move, I’m going to move to Madrid. Within a day, I was sat with the president of Madrid and we agreed that is where I was going to go.”