What the stars told FourFourTwo about David Beckham

We've interviewed a fair few people down the years, and the subject of Mr Beckham has come up more than a couple of times.

Here are some our favourites anecdotes, tributes and passing mentions...

Becks meets Mr Mandela (left), who has never been interviewed by FFT

SVEN-GORAN ERIKSSON unsurprisingly names Becks in his dream team
"A great captain for me and an inspiration to everyone. His right foot was – and still is – outstanding, while his crossing and set-pieces were the best I’ve seen. A great person as well."

ROBERTO CARLOS responds to being asked if he was upset about not being the best-looking man in Madrid after Becks' arrival
"Yes, very upset. That really annoyed me. Boy, did it annoy me! [Cooing] David is guapííííííííííííííííííííííísimo [unbelievably good-looking]. He's very good-looking, very, very, very handsome, it's amazing, incredible! I'm delighted that Victoria's been lucky enough to meet a guy like David, that they have such a nice family and that people admire him and respect him so much all over the world." 

GLENN HODDLE on Beckham's mental state during France 98
"I didn’t feel he was focused enough [to play in the first game against Tunisia], I really didn’t. There were lots of things happening. And when someone does something like that [the kick that brought the red card against Argentina] it shows you’re not focused, you just don’t do that, what are you going to gain? So there is a good possibility there is a link between the two situations. However, I still say it was a diabolical decision to send David off. It was a booking, not a sending off. The referee crucified us there."

MELANIE C on that same World Cup red card
"We were watching the game in a bar in New York and we couldn’t believe it. It was a very difficult time because Victoria was really worried and you couldn’t hide from it, it was everywhere. It impacted on the band a bit too. We were thousands of miles away from home and we were getting all this attention over it. But we all stuck together. We all felt really protective over David."

GEORGE BEST on the Giggs/Beckhan debate
"Ryan Giggs because he is more exciting on the ball. Giggs gets me on the edge of my seat when he runs at defenders. David is a great player, you’d have to be mad to think otherwise, but I think he could do even better. He could score more goals for instance, and use his left foot more, but I suppose he doesn’t really need it."

DARREN CURRIE talks Beckham's real legacy...
"When you think of footballers and tattoos you immediately think David Beckham and I’m not ashamed to say that he’s a guy I really admire and look up to. Becks has set the trend in terms of tattoos and has made it a million times more fashionable than it once was. He made a big statement with that angel on his back, likewise his children’s names, and a lot of people have followed suit."

MATTHEW LE TISSIER nominates Beckham for his Perfect XI
"I was in the England squad when he made his debut against Moldova in 1996 and while his work-rate is phenomenal, I can safely say he's the best at set-pieces that I've seen by a mile. In that 6-3 game, he scored a superb free-kick bent into the top corner even though we had a man on the post. I just thought, "Oh my God"..."

RUSSELL BRAND on meeting Becks in LA
"When I was in LA I missed going to the games. I thought about going to the Galaxy. I met David Beckham when I was in LA and he said, ‘Come along.’ And I thought, ‘Yeah, I will go.’ He’s quite impressive in real life. It’s very difficult to distinguish what his natural persona is and what’s been bestowed upon him by his position, but he was good looking and nice, so when he mentioned going I thought about it, but I didn’t go in the end. It’s not the same as Upton Park, is it?"

SAMUEL ETO'O isn't worried about looks
"I don’t and I’ll say it again. I’m very happy with who I am. He is more handsome, but I am the better player."

LUIS FIGO on rumours he and Prince Dave didn't see eye-to-eye at Madrid
"It was something totally made up by the press. I laughed a lot at those stories. People wrote things without even knowing what’s happening in the dressing room. I’ve always had a great relationship with David. He’s a good person who is easy to deal with."

PAUL CHUCKLE (of Chuckle Brothers infamy) on the possibility of D-Beck buying his beloved Rotherham
"Why doesn't David Beckham come and buy Rotherham and build a team up? It'd be a nice hobby for him. Posh'd be alright: there's Meadowhall Shopping Centre just up the road. And the kids would love to meet me and Barry. That'll swing it."

MICHAEL DAWSON wonders how Becks copes with the fame, as if he doesn't have the same problems...
"I think David Beckham is an absolute legend to cope with all the things he has to put up with. It's mad attention, all the time, every day."

THEO WALCOTT on meeting his hero
"I’d already been introduced to David Beckham in Madrid when Arsenal played Real in the Champions League last season. He was really nice and gave me plenty of words of encouragement, and when I joined up with the World Cup squad, he was there again to greet me and really made me feel a part of the set-up straight away. He was great with all the young players in the squad, and was obviously a respected captain."

ROD STEWART (yeah, that's right) compares his own abilities to those of Goldenballs
"I was never really that good as a player,” he says. “I didn’t really think I was going to be a professional player because I could tackle and pass the ball but I could never take anyone on. I could never run at a full-back, but then I suppose David Beckham can’t either."

RAUL on his enduring memory of Becks at Madrid
"The image of him celebrating with his sons on the pitch [after Madrid won the title in 2007] stays with me. He had such a massive desire to win something with Real Madrid. It was one of his most difficult years with him being left out of the England team but he demonstrated in the last three months of the season what a great player he is. He could have stayed here for another couple of years and he would have continued to be an important player for us. [Leaving Madrid for LA Galaxy] was a decision he took in a difficult moment when he was out of the team and he had to make his mind up."

MANI has the last word
"Beckham. He’s a supernova-bright bastard when it comes to playing football and he provides a lot of entertainment for a lot of people."