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Soccer

United players had to keep Beckham & Ferguson apart after flying boot

Former Manchester United defender Mikael Silvestre has been revisiting the infamous moment where ...



United players had to keep Bec...
Soccer

United players had to keep Beckham & Ferguson apart after flying boot

Former Manchester United defender Mikael Silvestre has been revisiting the infamous moment where manager Alex Ferguson and star winger David Beckham very nearly came to blows. 

In the aftermath of a disappointing FA Cup fifth round defeat to Arsenal in February 2003, a stray boot kicked by the Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson caught David Beckham just above his left eye.

Four months later, it was announced that Beckham would be joining Real Madrid.

"It impacted their relationship," admitted Mikael Silvestre, a former United defender who was in the dressing-room as the incident occurred, "and was probably among the reasons why David left that summer and signed for Real Madrid."

In conversation with Four Four Two magazine, the French defender disclosed how heated the exchange between Ferguson and Beckham became in that moment; even if he believes it was more or less forgotten about immediately afterward.

David Beckham

"Everyone was shocked, but things like this happen in dressing rooms," he suggested. "It was a random kick by the boss – it was just unfortunate that the boot went straight into Beckham's face.

"He was very angry and we had to intervene to prevent a confrontation [though]. But that was the end of it then."

As intention shifted back to the match in question, Silvestre recalled the United manager not sparing anyone else after a disappointing defeat to their fiercest rivals.

Nevertheless, rumours regarding Ferguson's temper are misguided, according to the Frenchman.

"The hairdryer treatment wasn't a big thing honestly,' he explained. 'Other managers do it as well. With him it was famous but it wasn't his main style."

David Beckham

Memorably, the incident left David Beckham requiring stitches over his left eye. From that moment onward, Manchester United would go on to seal Premier League success, however.

Although it would be Beckham's sixth and final such triumph with the club.

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Alex Ferguson David Beckham Manchester United Mikael Silvestre