LONDON - David Beckham thought he was too big for Manchester United and later surrendered part of his career by moving to the United States to play for LA Galaxy, former United manager Alex Ferguson said in his autobiography published on Tuesday.
In "My Autobiography", published by Hodder and Stoughton, Ferguson chronicles the years from Manchester United's treble-winning season in 1999 to the time he ended 27 years in charge of one of the world's biggest football clubs.
Those waiting with bated breath for its contents to be revealed would not have been disappointed either with Ferguson's dejection at Beckham's obsession with celebrity or Roy Keane's"frightening" rages which are covered in candid detail.
Ferguson's 27 years at Old Trafford, before retiring at the end of last season after a 13th Premier League title, were the most successful of any British manager.
During a time of huge change in the football landscape the one constant to emerge was Ferguson's total authority, however big the egos or the salaries of those under his command.
In a chapter devoted to Beckham, Ferguson says the former England captain "surrendered" part of his career when opting to join LA Galaxy in 2007 from Real Madrid, after being sold to the Spanish powerhouse by Ferguson in 2003.
"There was no footballing reason for him to go to America,"Ferguson said. "He was giving up top level football as well as the international game. You should never surrender what you're good at."
Ferguson also questioned Beckham's lifestyle.
"David was the only player I managed who chose to be famous, who made it his mission to be known outside the game."
Ferguson, who famously kicked a boot at Beckham's head during a halftime row, said the midfielder eventually thought he was bigger than the club.
"David thought he was bigger than Alex Ferguson...the name of the manager is irrelevant. Authority is what counts."