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Real Madrid legend had to ‘babysit’ Beckham and McManaman at Santiago Bernabeu

Michel Salgado has revealed the role he to adopted when the two England internationals arrived in Madrid.

David Beckham in action for Real Madrid in 2006.
David Beckham in action for Real Madrid in 2006.

REAL MADRID LEGEND Michel Salgado has revealed that he had to “babysit” David Beckham and Steve McManaman following their moves to Spain from Manchester United and Liverpool.

A former England captain made a switch to the Santiago Bernabeu from Old Trafford in the summer of 2003.

Beckham arrived in Spain amid much fanfare and would go on to enjoy four productive years with Real.

He did not always find things easy, though, with his homesickness and desire to fill any spare time leaving the wife of a helpful team-mate “pissed off”.

Salgado, who spent a decade on Madrid’s books, said: “I was the one to babysit David Beckham. 

“I did it a lot. It’s because I was the only to speak English.  But it was great with Beckham.

Soccer - Real Madrid Centenary Tournament - Liverpool v Real Madrid McManaman won two Champions Leagues and two La Liga titles with Real Madrid. Source: EMPICS Sport

“He was alone in Madrid because his wife was travelling a lot, living in LA and England. So he would call me every day, saying ‘let’s go out’. 

“And my wife was really pissed off with the situation – but it was a great time.”

Prior to helping Beckham adjust to life in the Spanish capital, Salgado had done likewise with another Englishman.

McManaman arrived in Madrid from Liverpool in the same summer of 1999 as a man reluctantly charged with the task of aiding his settling in period.

Salgado added: “I remember in my first day at Real Madrid pre-season.

“At that time, we were sharing rooms – and they said ‘you’re sharing with the English guy, Steven McManaman’.

Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Group C - Roma v Real Madrid Former Real Madrid defender Michel Salgado. Source: EMPICS Sport

“So I was like ‘oh my god, why’. They said ‘because you’re the only one who speaks English’. 

“But in the end, it was great.  I was the one to babysit the English guys.”

McManaman spent four seasons with Real, winning two La Liga titles and a pair of Champions League crowns.

Beckham, meanwhile, ended his stay in Spain with a league triumph, with an iconic figure taking the decision to head for MLS side the LA Galaxy in 2007.

Both Englishmen are fondly remembered at the Bernabeu, with both having contributed significantly to the collective cause and made a lasting impression.

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