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Beckham reconsiders future in Spain

March 24, 2005 11:54 IST

David Beckham has put a question mark over his future at Real Madrid after two of his children were targeted by paparazzi.

The England captain told reporters on Wednesday of two incidents earlier this month which he felt went beyond what was acceptable even for such a high-profile player and his wife, former Spice Girl Victoria.

"I'm at the point where I don't know what to do, because it's my children now and that's different," Beckham said at the England team hotel as he prepared for Saturday's World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland.

"I've had a couple of incidents in the last two weeks that have made me sit back and think.

"I believe that when my children are going to primary school, nursery or football school they should be left alone. And they're not. And they're not even with their parents.

"So, for me, it's becoming a big problem," said the 29-year-old father of three.

Detailing the recent incidents, Beckham said: "My eldest son, Brooklyn, goes to a football school.

"I was working at the time and Victoria was working, or looking after Cruz, and paparazzi showed up and harassed him and chased him into the football school.

"This is a six-year-old little boy. For me, that's crossing the line. And, of course, that affected him.

"Romeo was going to his nursery and the press were taking pictures of him while he was playing with the other kids. And, for me, that's crossing the line with my children."


Beckham accepted his own celebrity status and that of his former pop star wife meant the high-profile couple expected media attention.

"Victoria and I have always accepted that we're in the limelight and that people are going to want to take

pictures of us," he said.

"But when it comes to our children being out on their own, in their school, for me it's crossing the line."

Asked if the problems in Madrid had made him think of leaving it all behind, Beckham said: "I love my children, I love my wife, I'm a professional person and I love my football.

"And if I give in to some of the things that have happened to me over my career, then it is giving in to these people.

"But when the line is crossed, as it has been with my sons now, I don't know what to do."

Beckham, who had spent all his previous career at Manchester United before joining Real for around 35 million euros ($45.70 million) in 2003, made it clear the problem was specific to Spain.

"I love playing for Real Madrid, I love Spain as a country and the fans, who have been incredible to me since I moved there.

"But what I do get over there I've not had probably anywhere else before."

Beckham has often been linked in British media reports with a return to the Premier League, with big-spending Chelsea and champions Arsenal cited as possible destinations after his falling-out with United boss Alex Ferguson.

Though the England skipper had previously insisted he was happy at Real and even said at the start of this month that he wanted to end his career at the Bernabeu, his latest comments are likely to spark fresh speculation of a transfer.

League leaders Chelsea have the financial muscle needed to bring Beckham to Stamford Bridge, while Arsenal have their training complex in Hertfordshire -- the county north of London where the Beckhams own a mansion.

Victoria had initially refused to relocate to Spain because she wanted to pursue her solo singing career in Britain but later changed her mind.
Trevor Huggins
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