Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

David Beckham retires from football

Former England captain David Beckham will retire from football at the end of the season, the player's representative has confirmed. Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
Former England captain David Beckham will retire from football at the end of the season, the player's representative has confirmed. Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

David Beckham will retire from football at the end of this season.

Former England captain Beckham, 38, will call it a day after winning the French league title with Paris St Germain.

Beckham said: "I'm thankful to PSG for giving me the opportunity to continue but I feel now is the right time to finish my career, playing at the highest level.

"If you had told me as a young boy I would have played for and won trophies with my boyhood club Manchester United, proudly captained and played for my country over one hundred times and lined up for some of the biggest clubs in the world, I would have told you it was a fantasy. I'm fortunate to have realised those dreams."

Beckham made his debut for Manchester United in 1992, winning six league titles and the Champions League before moving to Real Madrid and Los Angeles Galaxy, plus loan spells at AC Milan.

He made his England debut in 1996 and would go on to be the Three Lions' most capped outfield player with 115 appearances. He was the first English player to score in three consecutive World Cup finals tournaments.

Beckham said: "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. I'm honoured to represent England both on and off the pitch."

A timeline of Beckham's career

1975: Born Leytonstone, May 2.

1991: Joins Manchester United as trainee.

1992: Makes debut against Brighton in the League Cup on September 23. Wins FA Youth Cup.

1993: Signs professional contract at Old Trafford.

1995: Joins Preston on loan in February and scores two goals in five games.

1996: Helps United to Premier League and FA Cup double.

Scores goal of the season on opening day at Wimbledon, lobbing Neil Sullivan from the halfway line. Makes his England debut in the 3-0 win in Moldova.

1997: Collects another championship winners' medal, voted PFA Young Player of the Year.

1998: Scores first England goal, a free-kick against Colombia in Lens on June 26. Sent off in second-round penalty shoot-out defeat against Argentina.

1999: Helps United win the Premier League, FA Cup and European Cup after coming from behind to beat Bayern Munich with two late goals.

Runner-up in World Player of the Year awards, behind Rivaldo.

2000: May - Collects fourth championship winner's medal as United win title by a record 18 points.

November - Named England captain for the November friendly with Italy in Turin by stand-in boss Peter Taylor.

2001: May - Collects another Premier League title with United.

October - Curls in a 25-yard last-minute free-kick against Greece at Old Trafford to earn England a 2-2 draw and send them into World Cup finals.

2002: June 7 - Scores from the penalty spot in the World Cup group stage match against Argentina to seal a 1-0 win. England bow out in the quarter-finals at the hands of eventual winners Brazil.

2003: February - Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson accidentally kicks a boot into Beckham's face in frustration at United's FA Cup defeat to Arsenal.

June 14 - Awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours for services to football.

June 17 - United announce they have accepted a £25million bid from Real Madrid for Beckham, who agrees personal terms.

2004: June 24 - Misses a penalty as England lose to Portugal in a shoot-out in the Euro 2004 quarter-finals in Lisbon.

2005 - November: Captains England for 50th time in friendly against Argentina in Geneva.

2006: July 2 - Stands down as England captain after World Cup quarter-final exit to Portugal.

August 11 - Dropped from squad for friendly against Greece, Steve McClaren's first match as manager.

2007: January 11 - Beckham announces he will leave Real Madrid and join Major League Soccer club Los Angeles Galaxy on a five-year contract in August.

January 13 - Real Madrid coach Fabio Capello says Beckham will never play for the club again.

May 26 - McClaren hands Beckham a shock England recall for matches against Brazil and Estonia.

June - Wins the La Liga title with Madrid, having won back his place in the team.

August 16 - Beckham scores his first goal for Galaxy on his full debut in the SuperLiga semi-final meeting with DC United with a trademark free-kick.

2008: March 26 - Wins 100th England cap in the friendly against France.

October 30 - AC Milan announce Beckham will join them on loan on January 7, 2009.

2009: March 9 - AC Milan announce that under a unique "timeshare" agreement Beckham will stay with them in Italy until the end of the season, return to the Galaxy from July to October and then rejoin the Serie A club for the rest of the 2009-10 campaign.

March 28 - Comes on as a half-time substitute against Slovakia at Wembley to win his 109th cap and break Bobby Moore's record for an outfield player.

2010: March 14 - Tears his Achilles tendon in Milan's 1-0 win over Chievo - an injury that rules him out of the World Cup.

June - Part of England's backroom staff for World Cup campaign in South Africa which ends in second-round defeat to Germany.

August 11 - England career appears to be at an end when Capello tells ITV: "Probably he is a little bit old."

2011: November 20 - Wins the MLS Cup as the Galaxy beat Houston Dynamo 1-0 in the final.

December 31 - Five-year deal at the Galaxy expires.

2012: January 19 - Re-signs with the Galaxy.

November 20 - Confirms he is to leave the Galaxy after MLS Cup on December 1.

December 1 - Ends his time in MLS in style by winning a second MLS Cup with a 3-1 win over Houston Dynamo.

2013: January 31 - Signs a five-month contract with Paris St Germain, revealing at a press conference he will play without a salary, donating what he would have earned to a children's charity in the French capital.

February 24 - Makes his PSG debut as a substitute against rivals Marseille.

April 2 - Starts Champions League quarter-final first leg against Barcelona. A brief substitute appearance in the following week's second leg was his final European game.

May 12 - PSG clinch the Ligue 1 title with a 1-0 win over Lyon. Beckham becomes the first Englishman to win league titles in four different countries.

May 16 - Announces his retirement from football.

 

The highs and lows of his career

HIGH - Manchester United take Beckham on as a trainee in 1991. Makes his debut in 1992 and is part of the side that wins the FA Youth Cup, before signing a professional contract in 1993.

HIGH - In 1996 helps United win the Premiership and FA Cup double.

HIGH - Scores stunning goal on opening day of the 1996-97 season at Wimbledon, lobbing goalkeeper Neil Sullivan from the halfway line.

HIGH - Makes his debut for England in 3-0 World Cup qualifying win in Moldova in September 1996.

HIGH - Collects another championship winners' medal in May 1997.

HIGH - Wins PFA Young Player of the Year award for 1997.

LOW - Has bullets with his name carved on them sent to him through the post. Also complains to police that he has been targeted by a mysterious stalker.

HIGH - Picked for Glenn Hoddle's 1998 World Cup squad.

LOW - Left out of the starting line-up for England's opening two World Cup matches against Tunisia and Romania, as Hoddle says he is "unfocused".

HIGH - Recalled for third match against Colombia and scores his first England goal from a free-kick.

LOW - Sent off in second-round match against Argentina for a retaliatory kick against Diego Simeone. England go out on penalties.

HIGH - Helps United complete the treble of FA Cup, Premier League title and Champions League.

HIGH - Collects his fourth championship winner's medal in May 2000.

HIGH - Made England captain for the November 2000 friendly with Italy by stand-in boss Peter Taylor.

HIGH - New England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson appoints Beckham as captain for his first match.

HIGH - Collects another Premiership title with Manchester United in May 2001.

HIGH - Scores last-minute free-kick equaliser in 2-2 draw against Greece in October which ensures England's World Cup qualification.

HIGH - Voted BBC's 2001 Sport Personality of the Year in December.

HIGH - Runner-up behind Luis Figo for World Footballer of the Year award.

HIGH - Makes rapid recovery from foot injury to feature in the World Cup for England, scoring a penalty winner against Argentina before a quarter-final defeat by Brazil.

LOW - Suffers gash above his eye amid reports the injury was caused accidentally by a boot kicked by boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

HIGH - United lift Premiership trophy at Everton.

HIGH - Ends 11-year association with United in July 2003 for a dream move to Real Madrid.

LOW - Misses England's first penalty in a quarter-final shoot-out defeat to Euro 2004 hosts Portugal.

LOW - Criticised for deliberate foul on Ben Thatcher in World Cup qualifier against Wales which earns him a suspension for a trip to Azerbaijan.

HIGH - Involved in London's successful bid for the 2012 Olympic Games.

HIGH - At the 2006 World Cup he scores from a free-kick against Ecuador but limps out of the quarter-final against Portugal through injury and breaks down in tears on the bench.

LOW - A day after England are knocked out of the World Cup, an emotional Beckham announces he has stepped down as captain.

LOW - Beckham not included in Steve McClaren's first squad as England manager.

LOW - Frozen out by Real Madrid coach Fabio Capello after agreeing to move to Major League Soccer side LA Galaxy in January 2007.

HIGH - Works hard in training and is restored to the Real side by Capello. Real go on to win league title.

HIGH - Recalled to the England squad for the first time since stepping down as their captain for first match at the new Wembley Stadium against Brazil.

LOW - Collects his 99th cap against Croatia, setting up a goal for Peter Crouch, but England suffer a 3-2 defeat at Wembley and fail to qualify for Euro 2008.

LOW - Left out of England coach Capello's first squad for friendly match against Switzerland in February 2008.

HIGH - Wins 100th cap in England's 1-0 friendly defeat to France in Paris in March 2008.

HIGH - Becomes England's most-capped outfield player, picking up a 109th cap against Slovakia.

LOW - Ruled out of the 2010 World Cup after suffering an Achilles injury during loan spell at AC Milan.

LOW - Capello announces on August 11 2010 that Beckham is probably too old to play a role for the national team in the future.

HIGH - Wins the MLS Cup as the Galaxy beat Houston Dynamo 1-0 in the final in November 2011.

HIGH - Prolongs his career stateside by signing a two-year contract extension with the Galaxy in January 2012.

LOW - Beckham reveals he has been left out of Team GB's squad for the Olympic Games.

HIGH - After joining Paris St Germain,. he helps the club to the Ligue 1 title.

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