David Beckham on Leicester's title win, Jose Mourinho's United arrival and who'll win the Premier League
Last Updated: 22/07/16 6:43am
Former Manchester United and England captain David Beckham has been giving us his thoughts on last season's remarkable Premier League title race, as well as looking forward to the new campaign.
Beckham, who stars in a brand new advertisement to promote the Premier League on Sky Sports, says he "has never experienced a season like last season" when Claudio Ranieri's Leicester City won the title.
In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports, Beckham - who won six Premier League titles during his time at Old Trafford - says he cannot wait for the new top-flight campaign to get underway.
In particular, it is the arrival of so many new big-name managers that most excites Beckham, especially both Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola in Manchester.
So to find out who Beckham thinks will win the Premier League, whether Mourinho will be a success at United and if Leicester can challenge once again, read on…
Just how extraordinary was last season?
BECKHAM: I do not think anyone has experienced a season like last season. In my time playing in the Premier League and the game, there are always shock defeats and wins in single games, but to have it over a season….
And it got to the end where nobody was surprised that Leicester were going to be champions because they were the best team throughout the season.
I think a lot of people expected them to trip up at some point and it just was not happening. Every game that was going past people were saying: 'This is probably the game they are going to slip up on' and they didn't.
Full credit to Ranieri and the players, they stuck together and it has really showed how the unity of a team can take you so far. But obviously they have a lot of talent as well, so it is not just about the togetherness of a team like Leicester, they actually play well together, have a lot of talented players in their team, so they deserved it.
But of course, Leicester City champions, considering where they were the season before, it was a shock, but they deserved it.
Could there be more surprises again this season?
BECKHAM: I am not so sure that that will happen again as it did. Everyone wants to see that - I don't, being a Manchester United fan - but the neutral football fan wants to see things like that more often.
But I don't think it will. Obviously the new managers that have come in this season, it is going to be so exciting seeing these guys on the sidelines. But I think it will be one of the big clubs again this year. But let's see, you never know…
What do you expect from all the new big-name managers?
BECKHAM: What I love about this group of managers is the character of them. You have obviously had this over the years with Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger and their battles together and Kevin Keegan and things like that.
But when you talk about Pep, [Jurgen] Klopp at Liverpool, [Antonio] Conte, who I love, I love his mannerisms, the way he is on the sidelines and he shows so much passion.
When you talk about these managers, obviously with Jose in the mix and being at a club like Manchester United - which for me is the biggest club in the world - when you have those managers together it is going to be such an exciting season off the pitch, let alone on the pitch. So it is going to be one that people are going to enjoy watching.
It could be another very unpredictable campaign?
BECKHAM: It makes it unpredictable, but with Klopp going in at Liverpool, you could see the change. And when he first went in, I started to think, 'This could be worrying as a Man United fan to see Liverpool coming back to being up there again with the big teams'.
But Jose going to United and Conte going to Chelsea and Pep - who I love, I have been a big fan of his for so many years, both on the pitch and off the pitch, he does so much for a team. So it will be unpredictable, but I do think it will be one of those teams who will be champions at the end of the year.
Do you expect Mourinho to be a success at Man Utd?
BECKHAM: I fully expect it to work. With Jose leaving Chelsea and now coming back into the Premier League with United, for me it is a great move.
I had huge respect for Van Gaal, but it did not work out the way people expected it to. But I think at the end of the day, now it is a new start for United. We have had a couple over the last three or four years, which is not the Manchester United style, who are used to a manager like Sir Alex Ferguson being in there for so many years.
And then we have had quite a lot of change over the last few years. So now with Jose in there, he knows what he wants and how to get it, he knows how to win titles.
And I think that is what Man United definitely need to get back to and they need to get back to being feared again, because we were always a club - and are still a club - that when teams come to Old Trafford, they know they are going to be up against it and they know they are probably going to lose. So that is what we need to get back to.
Who is going to win the Premier League?
BECKHAM: I am going to have to say United. I will always be on that side of the fence.
Is that heart or head saying that?
BECKHAM: Both and I will always be on that side.
It is probably going to be the tightest title race we have seen in a while?
BECKHAM: Without a doubt. With the managers that have come in, they all like to play the mind games, they all know how to win titles. And when you look at the experience of the managers and the experiences they have had in the game, it does not get any bigger than what we have got in the Premier League and it really shows the strength of the Premier League to have these kind of managers involved.
To have Jose and Pep as managers of Man United and Man City, it is going to be an interesting battle.
David Beckham stars in a brand new advertisement to promote the Premier League on Sky Sports. Next season, Sky Sports will show more Premier League football than ever before, 126 live matches including for the first time, Friday Night Football.