Sir Alex Ferguson told ITV News David Beckham could have been a Manchester United legend but changed after his marriage to Victoria.
He told ITV News presenter Mark Austin: "My take on it is that he could have been in the same position as Giggs and Scholes, twenty years at United, he would have been an absolute legend, in the pantheon of all the great legends we've had."
"Me being a football man, I want to see them totally committed to the team - that waned and went down a bit."
However, the former Manchester United boss did admit that Beckham had become an "icon" and "inspiration for young people" and praised the midfielder for how he "reinvented" himself later in his career.
More top news
Researchers believe they have found the wreckage of British explorer James Cook's ship "Endeavour".
Four kittens have been rescued from a fire by emergency services in California, USA.
A mother died after trying to save her three-year-old son when he fell down a cliff during a family hike.