David Beckham's agent has admitted the 34-year-old has been an asthma sufferer for years.
Beckham was pictured using an inhaler during LA Galaxy's MLS Cup final defeat to Real Salt Lake and Simon Oliveira admitted to the Daily Mail: "David has suffered with this since he was a young boy but it has obviously had no effect on his performance.
"He has never sought to make it public but if it does inspire any sufferer to think they can achieve great things like many other sportsmen have done then so much the better."
Meanwhile one of the country's top asthma experts insists that anyone suffering from the condition can still make it to the top in sport.
Dr Mike Thomas, chief medical advisor to Asthma UK, believes Beckham can provide inspiration for youngsters wishing to reach the top in their chosen activity.
"There are more than five million people with asthma in the UK and 76% of people with asthma tell us that exercise is a trigger for their condition," said Thomas.
"Asthma is particularly common among elite sports people like Paul Scholes and Paula Radcliffe, who both suffer with the condition, proof that asthma need not stop you competing at the highest level."