Manchester United news

Ferguson: Right time for Becks to retire

May 18, 2013
By ESPN staff

Sir Alex Ferguson has paid tribute to David Beckham, who will follow his former Manchester United manager into retirement at the end of the season, insisting it was the right time for the former England captain to hang up his boots.

David Beckham and Sir Alex Ferguson had a somewhat fiery relationship throughout the winger's time at Old Trafford
GettyImagesDavid Beckham and Sir Alex Ferguson had a somewhat fiery relationship throughout the winger's time at Old Trafford

• Ferguson 'overwhelmed' by final week
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Beckham, 38, will play his last game for Paris Saint-Germain against Lorient on May 26 after a glittering 18-year career which began under Ferguson at Old Trafford.

The 71-year-old believes his former pupil has made the right decision after adding another trophy to his cabinet with PSG securing the Ligue 1 title last week.

"He's picked the right time," Ferguson said. "He's won the league again with PSG and he is exactly the same as myself in that he'll have plenty of things to do. Fashion will be his role I would imagine, but he's a young man and he'll certainly have plenty of things to do.

"He is an amazing person and when it comes to longevity and reinventing himself - David has been absolutely incredible. When he went to America there wasn't a person in this place who thought he would really have a career.

"Yet he still went on and played for his country and for Milan and PSG in European ties. The one thing he always had was unbelievable stamina. He could run all day and that has allowed him to stay in the game and play for his country into his mid-30s."

Apart from former England winger Chris Waddle causing a stir when he said Beckham would not even be in his top 1,000 Premier League players, the midfielder has received glowing praise in his homeland with Arsenal's Jack Wilshere describing him as a role model.

"For me, he is the biggest English footballer there has ever been - both on and off the pitch," Wilshere told Arsenal Player. "Sometimes people forget what he did on the pitch, he was a great player and he showed that for many years. For any young English midfielder, and for me growing up, he was the perfect role model.

"You can just watch him and learn - not just the way he plays but from his attitude as well, his professionalism and his love for the game. That rubs off on everyone."