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Saturday 10 December 2016

Beckham: I'm still scared of having a drink in front of Fergie

David Beckham (right) with manger Alex Ferguson in 2002
David Beckham (right) with manger Alex Ferguson in 2002

David Beckham has revealed he was wary of openly drinking alcohol in front of "father figure" Sir Alex Ferguson.

The former United manager is returning to the Old Trafford dugout next month to manage Beckham and a host of other stars in a charity match.

On his former manager's involvement in the match, Beckham told BBC Radio 1: "I called him and asked him. He's like a father figure to me.

"The other day I saw him for the first time in a long time. We'd never even think about having a little glass of wine or beer (as players) in front of him but the other day someone handed me a glass of wine and I was talking to him (Ferguson) for 20 minutes with the wine hidden behind my back.

READ MORE: Fergie set to return to Manchester United dugout to manage Becks ... for one match

"Me, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes all said the same thing, we all hid the glass of wine behind our back."

For 11 years Beckham was a member of Ferguson's all-conquering Manchester United team - but the pair had an acrimonious split in 2003 after the Scot accidentally kicked a boot that struck the former England captain above his left eye.

Ferguson sold Beckham to Real Madrid four months after the dressing room incident and then criticised the former England captain in his autobiography.

However, the pair are now on good terms and the 73-year-old accepted Beckham's offer to get involved in the November 14 charity match, which is raising funds for UNICEF.

Ferguson will return to the dugout for the first time since ending his 26-year reign as United boss in 2013 to manage a Great Britain and Ireland XI.

Carlo Ancelotti, who Beckham played under at AC Milan and Paris St Germain, will manage the opponents, a Rest of the World XI which will include former Real Madrid and France star Zinedine Zidane in its ranks.

The other players involved will be announced over the next month but UNICEF ambassador Beckham admitted on talkSPORT: "Putting a game like this together is difficult.

"It's the weekend between international games so I can't have international players there unfortunately - but there will be a lot of top players there. I've played with some great players and great teams and they're supporting this."

Meanwhile, Beckham has no doubt former team-mate Ryan Giggs can emulate Ferguson and become United manager one day.

Giggs is assistant to Louis van Gaal and Beckham said: "Ryan is manager material, he's got that streak that runs through him.

"He could be a top manager. He's learned from Sir Alex over the years, now Louis van Gaal. He's taking his time and doing all the right things. All the fans would like to see him be manager at some time.

"He's got that appreciation and understanding of Manchester United, he'd be perfect to step in."

On United's current crop, Beckham added: "They look good players. I saw Gary Neville on TV the other day and he said they're not great players, they're still young and have to prove themselves over a certain amount of time - but they're doing very well now.

"It's about continuing and I'm sure they will. They've got that attitude."

::Tickets for 'The Match for Children' are now available on the Manchester United website and are priced from £20 for adults and £10 for children.

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