Regarded as one of England's greatest-ever footballers, David Beckham made headlines when he moved to Real Madrid in 2003, and the former Manchester United captain has now revealed how he snubbed FC Barcelona to make the move happen.
After spending more than a decade at Old Trafford, where he made 394 appearances and won no fewer than 12 major honours, Beckham joined LaLiga giants Real in a sensational €37 million (R599 million) deal after falling out with United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
That fallout largely stemmed from Ferguson allegedly kicking a boot at Beckham after an FA Cup defeat to rivals Arsenal, which caused a gash above the midfielder's eye, with their relationship festering further as the season progressed.
In an interview with BBC Radio, as reported by Managing Madrid, the former England international has now shared how, ahead of his move to Los Blancos, United had in fact accepted an offer from rivals Barcelona without his knowledge.
"I had heard rumours I might be sold," Beckham started.
"I was on holiday in the States with Victoria, and one of my friends called and told me it was on Sky Sports that United has agreed terms with Barcelona. I told him, 'that's not right I don't know anything about it'.
"I then flew back to London. I tried to speak to Peter Kenyon as well as the manager, but they said 'no'. I told them I needed to understand what was going on and they admitted a deal had been agreed with Barcelona.
"That's when I spoke to my agent and said, 'If I am going to move, I am going to move to Madrid'. Within a day, I sat with the president of Real Madrid, Florentino Perez, and we agreed a deal."
Beckham, who is currently part-owner of MLS side Inter Miami, ultimately spent four seasons in Madrid, making 155 appearances, before going on to play for the likes of La Galaxy, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain.
Do you think United should have kept Beckham? Share your thoughts by commenting in the section below.