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The LA Galaxy midfielder has praised his former boss for giving him a chance at the beginning of his career, and admits it was emotional to face United with the MLS All-Stars

David Beckham has praised Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson for giving him his start in football.

The England legend came through the ranks as a youngster at Old Trafford, and went on to win the Premier League six times, the FA Cup twice and the Champions League.

Beckham, who played for the MLS All-Stars against the Red Devils on Wednesday, has hailed his former boss as a “father figure” to him.

“I had many years, many successful years playing under Sir Alex Ferguson,” Beckham said. “I wouldn't be in the position I am today if it wasn't for him, because he gave me a chance when I was 16, 17 years old and he had the faith to give youngsters a chance. I owe him a lot. He was a father figure to me for many years.”

The LA Galaxy midfielder was unable to prevent his MLS All-Stars team losing 4-0 to United, but admits it was emotional to face his former club.

“Obviously, to play against Manchester United still with Sir Alex Ferguson as manager, still with some of the players I played with and the fans I played in front of for many years, is emotional,” Beckham said. “It's always going to be emotional coming up against Manchester United. It's always difficult as well.”

“If you play at that [United's] level you don't stop at one [or] two-nil,” the midfielder added. “You want to work hard because you want to get your fitness. You're not playing at a club like Manchester United to go through the motions and just to win 1-0.”

United secured their 19th domestic title last season, and Beckham says any new signings at the club can take on a winning mentality straight away.

“Any new player who comes into Manchester United, they feel that straight away,” he added. “That seems installed into you from a very young age as a Manchester United youth team player and it carries on all the way through the team. It's [a] never-say-die attitude, is what Manchester United have.”