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David Beckham: Modern English football's great son

Last updated on: May 17, 2013 11:59 IST

David Beckham: Modern English football's great son

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Here is a look at the life and career of former England captain David Beckham who announced his retirement on Thursday.

- Beckham to retire end of season

EARLY LIFE

Beckham was 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.

They 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, FA Cup and Champions League treble.


Image: David Beckham in 1998
Photographs: Reuters

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Played a record 115 international matches for England

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Beckham made his England debut on September 1, 1996 in a World Cup qualifier against Moldova. Two years later he scored in the finals 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 tabloid newspapers.

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. England were knocked out by Brazil in the quarter-finals.



Image: England's David Beckham (right) receives his 100th cap from Sir Bobby Charlton before the team's international friendly against the US at Wembley Stadium in London May 28, 2008
Photographs: Michael Regan/Action Images/The FA/Pool/Reuters

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Beckham missed 2010 WC due to injury

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In 2006, he resigned as England captain after his side lost in the World Cup quarter-finals 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 October 2009.

Beckham missed playing for England at the 2010 World Cup after he ruptured his Achilles tendon while on loan at AC Milan in March. Manager Fabio Capello asked him to accompany the team in an advisory role and announced that he would not be picked for England's attempt to qualify for Euro 2012.


Image: David Beckham
Photographs: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

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New clubs

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Beckham signed for Real Madrid from United for 25 million pounds in 2003 and after the Spanish club went three seasons without a major trophy, the team won the league title in 2007.

He joined the Los Angeles Galaxy in July 2007 in a mega-money deal in a bid to promote soccer in the United States.

Beckham won a second successive Major League Soccer (MLS) Cup at the end of 2012 and went back to Europe where he trained with Arsenal, although club manager Arsene Wenger said they were not interested in signing him.


Image: David Beckham
Photographs: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

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New Role

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In March, China named Beckham as its first global soccer ambassador to revive the game's image there. Soccer in China was hit by a match-fixing scandal and an exodus of international stalwarts from the country's premier league.

In his new role, Beckham, would be expected to help bring Chinese Super League (CSL) to the world stage and promote the game in the world's most populous country.


Image: David Beckham learns Chinese calligraphy during a visit to Peking University on March 24, 2013 in Beijing, China. David Beckham visited the country at the invitation of the China Football Association as China's first international ambassador
Photographs: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

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Patis St Germain

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After rumours in 2011 that Beckham was joining PSG -- sports daily L'Equipe ran a front page saying "Le Voila!" (Here he comes!), -- he finally joined the Parisian club in January 2013 on a five-month deal. Beckham also announces his salary at PSG will be donated to a children's charity in Paris.

Beckham enjoyed 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 Paris St Germain 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 Lyon -- with Beckham coming on in added time.

He becomes first English player to win league titles in four different countries - Manchester United (England), Real Madrid (Spain), LA Galaxy (U.S) and PSG (France).


Image: Paris St Germain's David Beckham
Photographs: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

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Off the pitch: Family guy

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Beckham met Victoria Adams in the mid-1990s when she was a member of pop group the Spice Girls. The perfect media match-up, the couple were instantly catapulted into the limelight.

Beckham and Adams married in July 1999, a few months after their first son Brooklyn was born. They have three other children.



Image: Romeo Beckham, David Beckham, Cruz Beckham, Brooklyn Beckham and Victoria Beckham attend the press night of 'Viva Forever', a musical based on the music of The Spice Girls at Piccadilly Theatre on December 11, 2012 in London, England
Photographs: Stuart Wilson/Getty Images

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