couple more years. He goes and plays for AC Milan (in the) European Cup. He's unbelievable. He really is – and good, well done to him. You can't argue with the status he has in life."
Beckham retired from playing football professionally aged 38 at the end of last season following a brief spell with France's Paris St Germain.
Ferguson said he wished Beckham, whose stellar celebrity – unlike that of previous globally-known footballers such as Brazil's Pele or Argentina's Diego Maradona -- was far in excess of his ability, had become a truly great player but could not argue with the life he'd made for himself.
"Well, for me, it would have pleased me more to see him be a great, great player, you know?" Ferguson added.
"As I said, I'm a football man. But how can I argue with life? He's an icon for young people... and represents himself the proper way. And I say well done.
"Amazing boy, yeah. I mean, how he has created himself. He's fantastic. Wonderful boy."