Friday, May 17, 2013

David Beckham Retires

Legendary English soccer player David Beckham, who perhaps owns the most recognizable face on the planet, announced on May 16 that he’s going to retire at the end of the current season. Beckham currently plays for Paris Saint Germain (PSG) in France’s Ligue 1. The 38-year-old midfielder managed to win a league championship in four different countries recently when PSG won the French title. Beckham is under contract with the team until June and is donating his salary to a children’s charity.

Beckham said he thanks PSG for giving him the chance to continue his career this season after he left the Los Angeles Galaxy of North America’s Major League Soccer (MLS), but believes the time is right to hang up his boots. PSG has just two games remaining in the 2012/13 season. Beckham has now won league titles with Manchester United in England, Real Madrid in Spain as well as the Galaxy and PSG.

Beckham admitted that his career has been a dream come true since he had the opportunity to captain England’s national team and play for Manchester United, his favorite team as a child. Beckham played 115 games for England, which is a record for an outfield player and won several trophies with Manchester. He claims that being named the captain of his homeland was possibly the highlight of his long career and certainly one of his proudest moments in soccer. He added that he was honored to represent his country both on and off the soccer pitch.

Beckham made a name for himself when playing with Manchester United from 1992 to 2003. He won the Intercontinental Cup, two English FA Cups, a European Champions League medal and six Premier League championships with United, all under manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who also shocked the soccer world recently by retiring. Beckham left Manchester for Real Madrid in 2003 and played for the Spanish giants for four seasons. He won the La Liga title in 2007 and then headed to Los Angeles to join the Galaxy. He won two championships in MLS including last year’s title.

Beckham never won any tournaments with England, but did appear in several major events. He helped England qualify for the 2002 World Cup when he scored on an unbelievable free kick in the last minute of a qualifying game against Greece. However, he found himself on the outside looking in when Steve McClaren took over as England manager in 2006 as he wanted to go with younger players. McClaren had to recall Beckham a year later though when he desperately needed points to earn a spot at the European Championships in 2008. Unfortunately, England failed to qualify for the tournament even with Beckham’s help.

Beckham’s last game for England came in October of 2009 in a match against Belarus. He was going to be named to the 2010 World Cup team that competed in South Africa, but Beckham tore his Achilles tendon before the tournament and wasn’t able to play. He joined the team as an assistant in South Africa though.

After announcing his retirement Beckham thanked all of his teammates, coaches and fans for making his career such a remarkable and enjoyable journey. He said he learned a lot from them and they all inspired him. Beckham was recently named a soccer ambassador in china where he will help promote the sport to the nation’s youngsters. He said he’s excited about the post, but nothing will ever replace the thrill of playing soccer.

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