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10/03/2012 18:58, Report by Adam Marshall
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United Archives: Beckham

Our second rummage through the official magazine archives takes us to an exclusive interview with David Beckham, conducted at the very end of 1998.

The young midfielder, then only months away from winning the Treble with Manchester United, had been vilified in the press for his summer sending off against Argentina in the World Cup. Here we get his side of the story...

No one in the history of English football, not even George Best, has been under the media microscope more than you - has it become a serious problem?
It's never been a problem to me. Obviously, I like my private life but I think being at a club like United, it's always going to be there so it's something I've got to accept and get on with it. It's never really going to go away.

But you have to cope with more paparazzi interest than anyone else at United - what's the worst incident you've had to deal with?
I've had quite a few really, mostly when me and Victoria have been together. Cars following you.. we've had everything really.

Have you grown to mistrust the press?
A lot of people take things that you say and muddle them about a bit. But that's something I've got used to now.

You sound like you're at the stage where you feel that whatever you say, it won't change it..
I've always been a quiet person so I don't speak to the press much anyway but I haven't spoken to them at all for a long time now.

When you see how life in the public eye has affected Paul Gascoigne, does it worry you?
I just think Gazza has been pestered that much. He's a great bloke and a great player. I get on with him really well. People just don't understand Gazza is a normal bloke. He is no different to anyone else. He just needs to be left alone like everyone else.

Looking back at the World Cup, what do you think Glenn Hoddle meant when he said you were unfocused coming into the tournament?
Erm, I think I've said it so many times now that I'd rather not go there. It's all been said and it's all over now.

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