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Beckham announces his retirement

16 May 2013 16:11

David Beckham has announced that he will retire from professional football at the end of the season.

Following a career spanning over 20 years and 676 appearances the 38-year-old has called time after becoming the first

Englishman to win league titles in four different countries.

The former England captain moved to Paris Saint-Germain in January on a short-term deal and was offered the chance to stay for another year despite making just one start for the French champions.


"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," Beckham said in a statement announcing his decision.

"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 100 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.

"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."

PSG's 1-0 victory over Lyon, in which Beckham came on as a late substitute, secured them the Ligue 1

title and became the 19th trophy of Beckham's illustrious career, which

also saw him collect 115 England caps and captain his country for six years.

The midfielder's only start for capital outfit came in the UEFA Champions League first leg of the last-eight clash against Barcelona at the Parc des Princes.

His career began at Manchester United and has also included spells at Real Madrid, Los Angeles Galaxy and Milan.

He was part of United's 'golden generation' who won six Premier League titles in eight years, two FA Cups and the UEFA Champions League.

Beckham is the latest member of that team to announce his retirement, following shortly after Paul Scholes' decision to hang up his boots.

He came to prominence when he beat Wimbledon's Neil Sullivan from the half-way line in 1996 and his career has blossomed ever since.

There were times where he was not the iconic hero that he is today. His dismissal against Argentina at World Cup 1998 for a petulant kick on Diego Simeone saw him receive criticism and abuse but his performances on the pitch soon turned those opinions around.

His performance for England against Greece at Old Trafford in 2001 is widely regarded as one of his best, his last minute free-kick curling over the wall and into the top corner to take England to the World Cup in South Korea and Japan in 2002.

After a breakdown in his relationship with Alex Ferguson he was sold to Real Madrid, where he won La Liga title under the guidance of Fabio Capello, whom he later worked under as a coach for England's 2012 World Cup campaign when the Italian took charge.


Beckham left Madrid and embarked on a new journey with LA Galaxy in the MLS where he won two MLS Cups before moving to France.

He also paid tribute to those closest to him.

"I wouldn't have achieved what I have done today without my family," he added. "I'm grateful for my parents' sacrifice, which made me realise my dreams.

"I owe everything to Victoria (his wife) and the kids, who have given me the inspiration and support to play at the highest level for such a long period."

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Ligue 1 table

# Team MP D P
1 33 +55 79
2 33 +27 69
3 33 +18 63
4 34 +15 57
5 33 +11 54
6 33 +10 51
7 33 +2 45
8 33 -4 45
9 33 -6 44
10 33 -4 41
11 33 -14 41
12 33 -7 40
13 34 +0 39
14 33 -9 39
15 33 -1 38
16 33 -14 38
17 33 -6 35
18 33 -25 30
19 33 -19 29
20 33 -29 20

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