Growing up in North London, all David Beckham ever wanted to do was play for Manchester United. He'd go on to realise that dream as he rose through the ranks at Old Trafford alongside Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Phil Neville - a group of players that would collectively become known as 'The Class of 92'.
Such was Beckham's connection with the club, it seemed that he would spend his entire career with the Red Devils. Yet, his 1999 marriage to Victoria Adams, who was one fifth of girlband the Spice Girls, propelled Beckham into the celebrity world, much to the dismay of his manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
The working relationship between the pair became fractious and the situation is said to have reached boiling point when Beckham was accidentally struck just above the eye by a stray boot kicked by a frustrated Ferguson in the United dressing room following a defeat to Arsenal.
The winger would later lose his place to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the starting lineup and as the 2002-03 campaign came to an end, rumours were rife that 11 years after his debut, Beckham was to leave his boyhood club.
A move to another Premier League outfit was believed to be of little interest to the England skipper, who had no intention of coming up against his former employers domestically. Consequently, one of the candidates for the Barcelona presidency - Joan Laporta - insisted that he could sign Beckham in a deal worth in excess of £20m.
However, it soon became apparent that Barca's Spanish rivals Real Madrid were Beckham's preferred destination. Los Blancos started negotiations with their English counterparts and 11 years ago today it was confirmed that the two clubs had agreed a fee of £25m for the 28-year-old, pending a medical examination.
"I would like to publicly thank Sir Alex Ferguson for making me the player I am today," Beckham said as the news broke. "I will always hold precious memories of my time at Manchester United and Old Trafford as well as the players, who I regard as part of my family, and the brilliant fans who have given me so much support over the years and continue to do so.
"I recognise that this is an amazing opportunity for me at this stage in my career and a unique and exciting experience for my family. I know that I will always regret it later in life if I had turned down the chance to play at another great club like Real Madrid."
Ferguson also showed that there was no grudges between the pair when he added: "I've known David since he was 11 years of age, and it's been a pleasure to see him grow and develop into the player he has become. David has been an integral part of all the successes that Manchester United have achieved in the last decade. I would like to wish him and his family every success in the future, and thank him for his service to the club."
Beckham would go on to spend four years at the Bernabeu, where he would be a favourite of the supporters for his technique and workrate for the team. Even so, in terms of trophies, it was not the most successful of stints. When he departed for LA Galaxy in 2007, he did so having only won the La Liga title on one occasion.