Football legend Pele is not impressed with David Beckham - saying he is more of a pop star than a player.
Beckham during training with Real Madrid
The Brazilian World Cup winner said football had become a part of the entertainment industry.
He said although the England captain, who joined Real Madrid in the summer for £25m, was adored by millions of fans, Pele himself was not pleased with Beckham's lifestyle.
Pele said: "The problem with Beckham is that he married the most famous
Spice Girl and now he is more of a pop star than a soccer player.
"Football today is also entertainment and people want players
to be stars rather than footballers."
Beckham, 28, has become a key marketing
tool since joining Spanish champions Real Madrid.
Paraded by Real Madrid during the team's recent Asia tour,
Beckham helped the Spanish team draw capacity crowds to four
matches and more than 100,000 fans to their training sessions.
Pele, who helped Brazil win three World Cups and is considered
by many the world's greatest player, lamented the divide between
rich clubs and teams with tight budgets.
But he said spending millions on new players did not guarantee success.
"It's clear that Real Madrid and Manchester have a lot of money
and they can buy the best players in the world.
"But we've seen many
times that stars don't always win championships," Pele added.