David Beckham has said he has learned to ignore the negative things that are said about his family, as he admitted that his marriage to Victoria is “hard work”.
In an interview with Australian TV show The Sunday Project, he said: “I’ve grown to ignore some of the negative stuff that is said.
“I think if you know each other well, if you know you’ve got great friends and great family behind you, the thing we have to do is protect our children and we are very proud of the family.”
Asked about the key to his 19-year marriage to the fashion designer, he said: “I think marriage is always about hard work.
“Your children, they want your time and they deserve your time and we are hard working and we feel that is the right way to bring up our children to prove and to show to them you have to work really hard to be successful.
“We have been married for a long time now, we recently did a Vogue front cover which was all about Victoria’s 10 years in fashion.
“The amount she has achieved in such a short space of time – four beautiful young children, we have a beautiful dog – but obviously in her business world to be on the front cover of Vogue was a huge thing and then we did a separate picture for another cover.
“But to be married for the amount of time that we have, it’s always hard work, everybody knows that but you make it work.
“You make difficult situations like travelling away, being away from each other, you make it work.”
He also discussed the couple’s children – sons Brooklyn, 19, Romeo, 16, and Cruz, 13, and daughter Harper, seven – saying: “I’m a softie, I know I’m slightly stricter with the boys than I am with Harper.
“To be honest, the boys rib me about it all the time, Victoria ribs me about it all the time.”
He said it is his youngest child who seems most likely to follow in his footballing footsteps, revealing: “She plays on a Sunday, she enjoys it, because none of the boys play any more apart from at school, so maybe it is going to be my daughter.”
Beckham also shared some of his fashion regrets, admitting: “There is one picture that I have in my house of me and the great Nelson Mandela and I have cornrows.
“So I am sat there with an amazing, inspiring man and I’m sat there with cornrows.”
Beckham was speaking to the programme before joining the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in Australia for the Invictus Games for injured service personnel.
He said: “With Harry, to have come up with something that changes people’s lives is incredible and I’m going over as an ambassador of the games but I’m really going over as a fan.
“I was lucky enough to go over to Afghanistan a few years ago and when I was there the courage, the discipline, just the resilience of individuals as groups was incredible and sport is such a powerful tool to give them the opportunity to get over the injuries and the hard times that they have been through.”