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And, as a player who made a record 115 outfield appearances for England, and won trophies with Manchester United, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and the Galaxy, Beckham won’t settle for second best.

“I’ve been obviously successful in my footballing career … so being an owner of a team, I want to be as successful as that,” Beckham said.

There’s little prospect of seeing the 38-year-old Beckham pulling on his boots in the near future. On a visit to China next month he had been expected to play in an all-star game, but that is no longer the case as Beckham settles in well into his life as a former professional.

There are no pangs of regret that he retired in May after four months with PSG. Not even when he watches former teammates across the world still in action.

“I enjoy watching football a lot more now than I did when I was playing,” Beckham said after the launch of a book about his career. “It was hard for me to watch games when I was still playing.”

Not playing hasn’t kept Beckham out the public consciousness _ particularly last week when former United manager Alex Ferguson used a new autobiography to criticize the star’s apparent preoccupation with fame and to claim he “surrendered” part of his career by moving to the MLS.

Beckham’s new book, which mostly features pictures of his trophy-laden playing career, speaks warmly about the manager who developed him into a global sporting icon.

Even a decade after Beckham’s United career ended after Ferguson kicked a boot at his face, he is affectionate and diplomatic toward the 71-year-old Scot who he still calls the “boss.”

“I am not upset at all about anything,” Beckham said. “I am excited about my book coming out. Obviously, I wish the boss all the success with his book. He’s had an amazing career, one that many managers look at and want to achieve what he has achieved.

“I owe him a lot as a manager for the way he brought me into Manchester United and he then groomed me into a player who went on to win 19 trophies, to play for my country 115 times, to represent my country as a captain, to play for Real Madrid, to play for AC Milan, to play for PSG, to play for Galaxy.”

Only now he’s retired can Beckham truly savor his career and remind people such as Ferguson _ however tactfully _ about such rare global successes for an English player.


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