The right time to finish a career – David Beckham’s story

Published On May 24, 2013 | By Sportsbuff | HOME, People

Some keep on asking ‘why’ and are opening their eyes in astonishment, while others say this was a predictable move, something he planned for a long time. For sure David Beckham’s declaration of retirement from professional football creates another milestone in the history of the discipline. Let’s look at some of the most important facts of his career. 

His decision came just a week after his mentor, Alex Ferguson, decided to step down after being 26 years in charge of Manchester United. Beckham’s future as Manchester player was kind of a put–up job as his parents were eager club’s supporters. Already when he was 14 years old he started attending ManU training academy.

“Who do you want to do be when you’re older?” teachers used to ask him and his answer was “a footballer”. This was the only thing he ever wanted to do. His ManU career was interrupted for a year when he went on a loan to Preston North End to gain valuable first team experience but in 1995 he chalked up his Premier League debut with ManU. It was due to Ferguson who gave his young players a chance by replacing the old boys. His hope and trust were criticized by many.

His marriage with Posh Spice in 1999 slightly changed his relationship with Sir Alex, who claimed that he was never a problem until that moment: “Getting married into that entertainment scene was a difficult thing. He is such a big celebrity, football is only a small part. The big part is his persona.”

However, 2001/2002 was still his best season ever and the pick of his career falls on these 10 years spent in England, where he scored 62 goals in Premier League, 14 in Champions League, won Champions League final, six Premier League titles, two FA cups, International Cup and FA Youth Cup.

In 2003 Beckham was sold to Real Madrid for €35 million and signed a four-year contract. Even though he started his Spanish adventure with 5 goals in his first 16 matches, the time spent in Madrid was a turbulent one. Coach changes and not that many significant trophies were problems that Real was not got used to. Although Beckham gave his best, some people accused his of coming only to sell t-shirts.

In 2007 the player left Spain for LA Galaxy, the transfer which became top news all around the globe. Beckham’s position in the popular culture was already so strongly established, that his appearance in the US brought not only new sponsors, but also 11.000 new season ticket holders for the club.

His time in the US was interrupted by a couple of loans to Milan, which aroused speculations he might return to Europe. For a long time he was plagued by injuries and associated with them monthslong breaks in playing. Despite that he helped the club win trophies, including two MLS Cups.

He decided to break his contract with LA Galaxy one year earlier to move to Europe, precisely to Paris, where he signed at Paris Saint-Germain. His 5-month deal was widely discussed as he decided to donate all of his salary to a children’s charity. On 16th May, just four days after PSG won League 1, Beckham announced his retirement from professional football.

He wrote on his Facebook fanpage: “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.”

Beckham appeared on the pitch playing for his national team 115 times, scored a total of 17 goals and been a captain for 58 out of his 95 games for England. He will be mostly remembered as an expert in free kicks (like the one from the match against Greece in World Cup qualifications in 2001).

Beckham used his football career for charitable work by supporting UNICEF, Malaria No More UK or Elton John AIDS Foundation, but also to become … a fashion icon.

Beckham’s haircuts over the years (from

How is he going to use his time now? Nothing is sure yet but his position in the popular culture will still make his fans from around the world follow his steps very closely.

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