‘It was just unfortunate the boot went straight into his face!’: Mikael Silvestre reveals Manchester United stars had to separate David Beckham and Sir Alex Ferguson after infamous dressing room bust-up in 2003
- Mikael Silvestre says players separated David Beckham and Sir Alex Ferguson
- The pair endured an infamous dressing room bust-up with stars intervening
- Ferguson was left incensed by Manchester United’s 2003 FA Cup loss to Arsenal
- The manager kicked a stray boot that struck and gashed Beckham above his eye
Former Manchester United star Mikael Silvestre has lifted the lid on the infamous dressing room bust-up between David Beckham and Sir Alex Ferguson – and revealed his team-mates were even forced to intervene.
The pair’s relationship was left in tatters following the flashpoint, which took place after United were defeated by Arsenal in the 2003 FA Cup fifth round at Old Trafford.
And such was the extent of the fury between them, Silvestre admitted that several fellow United stars stepped in to prevent the confrontation from escalating.
Mikael Silvestre lifted the lid on the bust-up between David Beckham and Sir Alex Ferguson
Ferguson was left incensed by the manner of United’s exit from the competition and kicked a stray boot in frustration. The inadvertent strike caught Beckham in the face, leaving the wideman with a gash above his eye.
‘I was there,’ Silvestre told FourFourTwo magazine. ‘Everyone was shocked, but things like this happen in dressing rooms. 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. But that was the end of it then.
Beckham had been incensed after Ferguson kicked a boot that cut the wideman above his eye
‘Still, it impacted their relationship, and was probably among the reasons why David left that summer and signed for Real Madrid.’
Beckham’s cut required stitches, and the England hero arrived for training the following day clearly sporting a plaster over it.
With their relationship beyond repair, Beckham was sold to Real Madrid that summer for £25million.
Ryan Giggs was guilty of spurning a chance in front of an open goal in the defeat, with a furious Ferguson soon subjecting his players to the ‘hairdryer’ treatment at full-time.
But Silvestre played down rumours over the regularity of Ferguson’s infamous ‘hairdryer’ rants
His post-match rants were given that moniker due to their explosive nature, with countless world-class stars on the receiving end of them across the wily Scot’s trophy-laden 26-year reign.
But Silvestre has downplayed suggestions that Ferguson would lose his temper more often than not.
‘The hairdryer treatment wasn’t a big thing honestly,’ he added. ‘Other managers do it as well. With him it was famous but it wasn’t his main style.’
The former French centre back featured under Ferguson for nine years after joining from Inter Milan in 1999 – and won four Premier League titles, one Champions League and two domestic trophies during his spell in Manchester.
The ex-centre back clinched several trophies during a successful nine years at Old Trafford
And Silvestre is unsurprisingly full of praise for the legendary tactician and his coaching set-up.
He said: ‘He was obviously very passionate about the game but where he also stood out was in his capacity and willingness to give his assistants loads of responsibility, in terms of training and building the team for games.
‘Every now and then the routine would change when we had a new first-team coach. It meant we were introduced to different footballing cultures, with different ways of thinking and different ways of match preparation.’
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