David Beckham, the Paris Saint-Germain and England international midfield player, has decided to retire at 38 years of age and after 21 years playing at the top level. On hanging up his boots, David Beckham pays tribute to his family, without whose support, he says, he would never have achieved so much.
David Beckham is a legend in his own lifetime, being the force behind the Brand Beckham which, refreshingly for soccer, is about a clean, good-boy, family-man image, rather than some foul-mouthed lout, complete with ear-rings, getting drunk, spitting and kicking people.
During his career he played for Manchester United, Preston North End, Real Madrid, Los Angeles Galaxy, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain. He made 115 appearances for England and won trophies in four different countries.
With Manchester United (1992-2003) he won six Premier League titles, 2 FA Cups, 4 FA Community Shields, 1 FA Youth Cup, 1 UEFA Champions League and 1 Intercontinental Cup. He won La Liga and the Spanish Supercopa with Real Madrid; at LA Galaxy he won 2 MLS Cups, 2 MLS Supporters' Shields, 3 Regular Season MLS Western Conferences and 3 Playoffs. At Paris Saint-Germain he has won Ligue 1, going out of the game at the very top.
He was the first British soccer player to have appeared in 100 Champions League matches, was twice runner-up for the FIFA World Player of the Year award and he was England Captain for six years.
Speaking proudly of his time playing for England, he says "To this day, one of my proudest achievements is captaining my country. I knew every time I wore the Three Lions shirt, I was not only following in a long line of great players, I was also representing every fan that cared passionately about their country".
Paying tribute to his family, David Beckham stated: "I wouldn't have achieved what I have done today without my family. I'm grateful for my parents' sacrifice, which made me realize my dreams. I owe everything to Victoria and the kids, who have given me inspiration and support to play at the highest level for such a long period".
The soccer pitches will surely miss David Beckham but at 38, he is just beginning a new adventure and for sure the game has much more to gain from his professionalism, dedication and good-naturedness.