Neville speaks of his relief when Beckham left Man Utd

Gary Neville has admitted how the day close friend David Beckham left Manchester United for Real Madrid came as something of a relief.

The former England skipper had seen his relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson take a drastic downturn over the previous 12 months before his departure, with the player having a boot kicked in his face during a dressing-room bust-up with the Scot.

Beckham eventually left the Red Devils in 2003 for Real Madrid and had spells at Los Angeles Galaxy, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain before hanging up his boots in 2013.

Speaking to StrettyNewsTV, Neville opened up about the superstar’s exit from Old Trafford.

“I knew it was coming to an end a little bit from the previous 12 months,” Neville said. “I was aware of the things that were going on behind the scenes.

“I was disappointed when he left but I was also disappointed when Nicky Butt left. I was disappointed when my brother left, I was disappointed when Roy Keane left and I was disappointed when Denis Irwin left. They were a massive part of our lives and our careers at United.

“It wasn’t just the lads around me – David, Phil and Nicky and such like. When a player of that magnitude left there was a void. They’re a big miss.

“To be honest with you, at the time ‘sad’ probably wasn’t the right word.

“I was probably relieved a little bit. For him, for the club – it could never end badly, that relationship. David had done so much for the club and the club had done so much for David.”