End it like Beckham!

2013-05-19 14:00

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It’s been a blast, playing in four countries for 22 years, but all good things must come to an end.

Here’s a look at the life and career of former England captain David Beckham, who announced his retirement this week.


»?Born on May 2 1975 in London. He joined Manchester United as a

16-year-old trainee in 1991. By 1995, he became a regular during the club’s most successful era.

»?Manchester United won the Premier League and FA Cup double during his first full season. During the 1996/97 campaign, he scored from the halfway line in an opening day victory over Wimbledon.

»?In 1999, the team went one further, winning the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Champions League treble.


»?Beckham made his debut for England in September 1996, in a World Cup qualifier against Moldova.

Two years later, he scored in the World Cup against Colombia but went home from France in disgrace after being sent off for kicking out at Argentina midfielder Diego Simeone in a last-16 defeat.

»?In England, Beckham was widely blamed for the defeat and slammed by the tabloids.

»?Beckham captained England on the first of 58 occasions against Italy in a friendly in November 2000, and the next year booked them a place in the 2002 World Cup finals with a stunning injury-time free kick, salvaging a 2-2 draw against Greece.

»?In 2006, he resigned as England captain after his side lost in the World Cup quarterfinals to Portugal, who knocked them out at the same stage of Euro 2004.

»?Beckham returned to the team a year later and earned 115 caps, an England outfield record. His last international appearance was against Belarus at Wembley in 2009.

»?Beckham missed playing for England at the 2010 World Cup after rupturing his Achilles tendon.

This was while he was on loan to AC Milan.

Manager Fabio Capello asked him to accompany the team in an advisory position, but said he would not be eligible to be picked for England’s attempt to qualify for Euro 2012.


»?In 2003, Beckham signed for Real Madrid from United for £25?million (R356?million), and after the Spanish club went for three seasons without a major trophy, the team won the league title in 2007.

»?He joined US Major League Soccer club LA Galaxy in July 2007 in a megamoney deal in a bid to promote soccer in the US.

»?Beckham won a second successive Major League Soccer

Cup with LA Galaxy at the end of last year and went back to Europe, where he trained with Arsenal, although club manager Arsene Wenger said they were not interested in signing him on with the Gunners.


»?After rumours in 2011 that Beckham was joining PSG – sports daily L’Equipe ran a front page that declared “Le Voilà!” (here he comes).

He joined the Parisian club in January 2013 for five months and donated his earnings.

»?Beckham had a promising French league debut for PSG in February, enjoying warm crowd support in a late cameo during the 2-0 home victory over Olympique Marseille.

Last month, he picked up a straight red card as PSG continued their march towards a first French league title.

They finally won that first championship in 19 years last Sunday, with a 1-0 win at Olympique Lyonnais, with Beckham coming on in added time.

»?He became the first English player to win league titles with clubs in four different countries – Manchester United (England), Real Madrid (Spain), LA Galaxy (US) and PSG (France).

Roll of honour

»?Clubs: Man United (1992-2003), Real Madrid (2003-2007), Los Angeles Galaxy (2007-2012), AC Milan (loan), Paris Saint-Germain (January-May 2013)

»?International caps: 115

»?International goals: 17

»?International debut: September 1 1996, Moldova vs England (0-3)

»?Last international appearance: October 14 2009, England vs Belarus (3-0)

»?Playing honours:

Club: Champions League winner (1999); Intercontinental Cup winner (1999); Six English Premier League titles (1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003); Two English FA Cups (1996, 1999); Spanish league title (2007); Two league titles

in the US (2011, 2012); French league title (2013) – Sapa-AFP

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