Beckham: Ferguson and I have changed

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David Beckham launched his autobiography My Side with showbiz razzmatazz yesterday in the city he now calls home. "Madrid is a new experience," he said. "It's a beautiful city and everyone is so friendly."

The England captain was talking in the gilded splendour of Madrid's Ritz hotel. When the publisher's spokesman ventured a brief introduction in Spanish, Beckham murmured a convincing "muy bien", but later confessed his Spanish was "going slowly". He added: "I've had a couple of lessons and I can speak a few words, but it's going slowly."

Reluctant to demonstrate more vocabulary, he said he communicated in Spanish with team-mates on the pitch. "When we are playing I speak as much Spanish as I can."

He did not, apparently, miss Sir Alex Ferguson, although he credited his former manager with "giving me the chance to become what I am today". But did their relationship not sour? "I think that happens with all jobs. Sir Alex Ferguson has changed and so has David Beckham. I've left that job now and we all move on."

Admitting that he hoped he and his wife, Victoria, would one day have a daughter, Beckham countered a suggestion that he courted scrutiny into his personal life.

"I think I'm being scrutinised anyhow, so if I put my view in a video or a book that's good," Beckham said. "We try not to let it affect our two sons. Brooklyn enjoys it. He thinks it happens to every mummy and daddy. Victoria is a singer, I'm a footballer. We're in the public eye, we've come to accept it."