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Blast at 'too dear' Becks.

Former Spain boss Javier Clemente believes Real Madrid have made an expensive "mistake" buying David Beckham.

Clemente is adamant Real paid over the odds for the pounds 25m England captain.

And he also believes the former Manchester United star could be a disruptive influence at the Bernabeu.

"I think that the decision to buy Beckham is a mistake as he is very expensive and Real Madrid don't need him as they already have Figo," said Clemente, now in charge of Barcelona side Espanyol.

"Beckham is a very good player, but he has a lot of other things going on in his life and these could cause problems."

The 28-year-old - currently on tour with Real in China - is also part of the problem pervading Spanish football, according to Clemente.

"The league is very strong, but you need to look at how many foreign players there are," he added.

"Look at Real Madrid - Zidane, Figo, Ronaldo, Makelele .... there's a lot of money in Spanish football which is very important to its success."

Beckham is due to make his Real debut against a "Dragon XI" in Beijing tomorrow.

Manchester United continue to flourish without Beckham on their US tour.

The Red Devils followed up their 4-0 friendly defeat of Celtic with a 4-1 trouncing of Serie A title holders Juventus.

Juan Sebastian Veron inspired the rout at the Giants Stadium.

Veron, a reported Chelsea target, collected the man of the match honours in front of 79,005 delirious fans.

He capped a superb display with two assists which led to goals for Paul Scholes and Ruud van Nistelrooy at the start of the second half.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson insisted after the game that Veron remains a key part of his plans.

"People keep seeing him on this tour and people still keep saying he is going," said Ferguson.

"Unless he is going to be whisked from right under my nose they are wrong."

Ryan Giggs and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer got United's other goals, with Pavel Nedved replying for Juve.
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Title Annotation:Sport Football
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Aug 1, 2003
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