Manchester United legend David Beckham reveals how he almost joined Barcelona. Both the clubs had already agreed a deal.
David Beckham rose to fame during his time with Manchester United. He won 6 Premier League titles with the Red Devils; including one that was part of the only European treble achieved by an English side. In no time, he had become arguably the most marketable player in the world.
However, a dressing room spat that had since become public made it so that both the club and the player were looking to part ways in the summer of 2003. Beckham would eventually join Real Madrid for £30m. However, if it were left to United, he would have gone to another Spanish club instead.
Manchester United legend David Beckham reveals how he almost joined Barcelona
“I had heard rumors I might be sold, I was on holiday in the States with Victoria and one of my friends called and told me it was on Sky Sports that United has agreed terms with Barcelona. I told him, ‘that’s not right I don’t know anything about it’,” Beckham told BBC Sport.
Barcelona’s Joan Laporta pledged to sign Beckham if he was elected. Beckham reportedly didn’t like being used as a “political pawn” by Laporta. He would sought a move to Real Madrid instead.
“I then flew back to London and tried to speak to Peter Kenyon as well as the manager, but they said ‘no’. I told them I needed to understand what was going on and they admitted a deal had been agreed with Barcelona”.
“That’s when I spoke to my agent and said, ‘If I am going to move, I am going to move to Madrid’. Within a day I sat with the President of Real Madrid, Florentino Perez, and we agreed a deal”, he concluded.
David Beckham’s move to Real Madrid greatly affected both Barcelona and Manchester United’s movements that same summer. Barcelona had targeted Beckham as their number one target with Ronaldinho as their second.
With the unavailability of Beckham, Barcelona bought in Ronaldinho, who also happened to be Manchester United’s priority. They had just lost Beckham to Real Madrid. Ronaldinho had also choosen Barcelona instead. The Red Devils would then sign an 18-year old Cristiano Ronaldo and the rest is history.
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