Soccer ace David Beckham is at the centre of a terrifying bomb threat attack by Basque terror group ETA - who Spanish police fear may also be plotting to kidnap him.

The handsome Real Madrid player has moved to Spain to play for the team, but his relocation has attracted the attention of the separatist group, as they support Basque rivals BARCELONA.

It is thought the family man, who is married to former SPICE GIRL VICTORIA BECKHAM, will be closely followed by an armed bodyguard when he returns to Spain from his current tour of the Far East with his teammates.

A source close to ETA said yesterday (6AUG03), "Real Madrid stand for everything we oppose. ETA members can see the fuss and publicity this tour is making. It makes Beckham a very attractive target."

While a senior Civil Guard intelligence officer adds, "Kidnapping Beckham or members of his family is certainly feasible.

"He is rich and so are Real Madrid. It would be a huge propaganda coup that would go round the world."

However, a spokesman for the father of two sons - BROOKLYN and ROMEO - said yesterday (6AUG03), "We have not heard anything to suggest he is at risk.

"Real Madrid may be at risk because of who they are but no one has brought this to our attention. We are happy with David's security. He has people with him wherever he goes."

Last May (02), ETA detonated two car bombs outside Real Madrid's SANTIAGO BERNABEU stadium hours before the CHAMPIONS LEAGUE semi-final with BARCELONA.

During its 30 year campaign to win freedom for the six Basque provinces, ETA has killed more than 800 people, and routinely kidnapped wealthy people - including Julio Iglesias's father, also called JULIO - in order to hold them to ransom.

07/08/2003 14:18