Football: Ferguson lifts lid on Beckham, Rooney and Keane in book

Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson poses with a copy of his autobiography titled My Autobiography during a press conference to mark the launch of the book in central London on Tuesday, Oct 22, 2013. Ferguson launched his new autobiog
Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson poses with a copy of his autobiography titled My Autobiography during a press conference to mark the launch of the book in central London on Tuesday, Oct 22, 2013. Ferguson launched his new autobiography on Tuesday, lifting the lid on his relationships with football stars such as David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, Roy Keane and Wayne Rooney. -- PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson launched his new autobiography on Tuesday, lifting the lid on his relationships with football stars such as David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, Roy Keane and Wayne Rooney.

The 71-year-old Scot, who stepped down in May after 261/2 years, said Beckham became too obsessed with fame in the latter years of his Old Trafford career and reiterated his claim that Rooney asked to leave the club at the end of last season.

He confirmed that Keane, his long-serving captain, was asked to leave the club after lashing out at several of his younger team-mates in an interview with in-house television channel MUTV that was never broadcast.

Ferguson also revealed that he was twice offered the England manager's job, in 1999 and 2001, but turned it down. "There was no way I could contemplate that. It wasn't a bed of nails I was ever tempted to lie on," he said in My Autobiography.