LA Galaxy midfielder David Beckham has jumped to the defence of Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli over his backheel controversy.

Manchester United legend Beckham, whilst reminding Balotelli of his status within the game, did feel there was a legitimate excuse.

"I have watched it back a few times and from his mannerisms I believe he thought he was offside," said the former England skipper. "Mario has been a great player for quite a few years and he is still very young. He will continue to get better I am sure.

"But it doesn't matter whether you think it was offside or not. There are a lot of young kids watching these teams and great players who come out here. You have to be professional and score the goal."

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