David Beckham is without a doubt one of the most famous footballers the game has ever produced. And he played for some of the biggest clubs in the world during his playing days, including Real Madrid. Of course, his career started at Manchester United and it is there that he enjoyed his biggest successes as well.
Interestingly, Beckham would leave Manchester United at the peak of his powers and popularity in the summer of 2003. His destination, Real Madrid.
It looked like a match made in heaven. Real Madrid’s Galactico era was in full flow at that point in time and it made all the sense in the world for the club to add Beckham to their ranks, one of the most recognisable faces in the game who would raise the profile of Los Blancos even further.
It helped the Beckham brand as well. But it looks like if the Englishman had his way, he would have stayed put at Manchester United in 2003.
Beckham explains why he left Manchester United for Real Madrid
"“Over the years the manager had always made the right decision in his eyes for the team, and the club.“That happened to me in the end, I didn’t want to leave Manchester United at the time – we’d just won the league again, but all of a sudden I get a phone call to be told that Manchester United had agreed a deal, and that was the end of it.“Even trying to speak to the manager after that, he didn’t want to talk to me. It wasn’t out of spite, he was on holiday, he didn’t want to be contacted, he’d made his decision and that was the end of it.”"
In the end, things worked out quite well for both Manchester United and Beckham. The Red Devils would remain one of the best clubs in the world for the next decade until Sir Alex Ferguson decided to retire.
On the other hand, Beckham spent four seasons at Real Madrid, before making an unexpected move to LA Galaxy at the age of 32. Many questioned the decision at the time but it did help him become one of the most recognisable sportspersons in the world.
Beckham continues to enjoy immense popularity to this day and one has to wonder whether that would have been the case if he had not joined LA Galaxy. Of course, he would later return to Europe, spending time on loan at AC Milan and retiring at PSG.