CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- Renowned for his fitness, David Beckham revealed Thursday he has been dealing with asthma for several years.
The 34-year-old Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder, who will begin a second stint with AC Milan in January, was seen using an inhaler after the MLS Cup final.
"It's out there now," he said on the eve of the World Cup draw in Cape Town. "Sometimes I have good days and bad days. I've never hidden it but it's something I've had for a good few years now.
"I hope it turns into a positive because I've been able to play for many years with the condition. I know there are many other players who have overcome it such as (Manchester United midfielder) Paul Scholes."
Beckham also dismissed a report that he regularly smokes cigars, but admitted he occasionally tastes one when he celebrates a major triumph.
"I've always prided myself on the way I look after myself," he said. "On special occasions, like winning the European Cup, I might have had a puff. But I don't sneak into the garden. I think my boys would kill me if I did."
With the Major League Soccer season over and his loan to AC Milan not due to start for a month, Beckham is trying to regain his fitness after an ankle injury. He needed painkilling injections to get through the MLS Cup final in Seattle.
"In the last few days it has felt a bit better," Beckham said. "Bone bruising takes time to go away and obviously the injections I had during the game in Seattle didn't help. But it should be fine by the time I get to Milan. There's not much you can do with bone bruising apart from resting it and icing it. I just need a couple of weeks off, which I'm having."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press