David Beckham has revealed he prefers watching live rugby to football.
It may have been the sport which made him into a global icon, but the former England and Manchester United legend has felt uneasy among football crowds in the past.
Beckham likes the atmosphere at Twickenham because it is “people sitting together with no nastiness”.
“I love rugby,” Beckham told the Radio Times. “I love watching it and I love the whole thing. I have enjoyed going to Twickenham more than I have enjoyed watching football.”
He also added that it was “never nice” to watch United play Tottenham when he was a child.
“Football is so powerful. It matters so much to people,” said Beckham, who embarked on a global football tour for charity Unicef which was filmed by the BBC.
Beckham also revealed his concerns that FIFA, world football’s governing body, is damaging the sport. The organisation has been thrown into chaos by an ongoing investigation into accusations of corruption.
“They’re just hitting the bend,” Beckham told the Radio Times. “There’s a lot still to be done.
“It’s such a mess that it’s going to take a while to sort out. For me to see the game, the way it’s been treated and looked after, is devastating. It’s disgusting.”
Beckham was part of England’s failed bid to host the 2018 football World Cup, acting as an ambassador alongside Prince William and Prime Minister David Cameron.
FIFA have since come under fire after awarding the tournament to Russia and the 2022 edition to Qatar, but Beckham says it is important to “get behind” the games and bring the sport to new countries.
“World football has had a hell of a lot of negative press,” he said. “I’m not trying to help them out, but I want to show the good that football can do.”