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
Make-A-Wish Foundation helped one young boy with an incurable heart condition star as 'Fast Heat' in his very own movie.
Planets outside our solar system could have earth-like oceans, evidence suggests. Could it mean a higher chance of extra-terrestrial life?
Prince Harry has waved goodbye to the people of Australia after a one-month attachment - meaning he will soon be united with his new niece.