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David Beckham announces retirement

Updated: 2013-05-17 09:35

To start:

David Beckham is definitely not a player favored by everyone, but his retirement has definitely upset every football fan. It is a huge loss to the football world and the world football.

Factbox on Beckham

David Beckham was born on May 2, 1975 in London.  He joined Manchester United as a 16-year-old trainee in 1991... [More]

He was booed throughout the country for kicking Diego Simeone and earning a red card during the 1998 last-16 World Cup defeat by Argentina... [More]

He was first English player to win league titles in four different countries - Manchester United (England), Real Madrid (Spain), LA Galaxy (US) and PSG (France)... [More]

David Beckham announces retirement

David Beckham bows out on a high

By Reuters

MANCHESTER, England - England's best known footballer David Beckham announced his retirement on Thursday after a career laden with trophies and glamour that had a worldwide impact that went way beyond soccer.

The 38-year-old former England captain, who this month helped Paris St Germain to the French league title to add to titles won in England, Spain and the United States, will hang up his boots at the end of a successful season.

"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," the midfielder, whose final match will be against FC Lorient on May 26, said in a statement.

David Beckham announces retirement

David Beckham of Manchester United celebrates after making it 1-0 against Charlton during their English Premier League football match at Old Trafford, in Manchester, in a file picture taken on May 3, 2003. [Photo/]

Beckham earned 115 caps for England, a record for an outfield player, and won the Champions League, six Premier League titles and two FA Cups with Manchester United.

He also won league titles with Real Madrid in Spain, LA Galaxy in the United States and PSG in France, making a habit of moving on straight after achieving success.

He joked that he realized it was time to call it a day "when (Lionel) Messi was running past me" when PSG played Barcelona in the Champions League before saying he had always known he wanted to retire at the top of his game.

"It's simple, you are leaving as a champion," he told Sky Sports in an interview conducted by his former Manchester United team mate Gary Neville.

"It's the right time, I believe it's the right time but I'll always feel I can do more, that's the problem."

David Beckham announces retirement

Paris Saint-Germain's David Beckham celebrates a goal by his team during their French Ligue 1 soccer match against Stade Rennes at the Route de Lorient stadium in Rennes, April 6, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]

London-born Beckham started his career at Manchester United, the club he supported as a boy, making his first team appearance at the age of 17 in 1992.

His trade-mark free kicks and pin-point crosses established him as a key player, while his good looks made him a pin-up for teenage girls and later his marriage to former Spice Girls band member Victoria Adams established him as an off-field celebrity.

The stunning goal he scored from the halfway line against Wimbledon at the start of the 1996-97 season announced him as a special talent and he even had the film 'Bend It Like Beckham' named after him.

While his commercial appeal, personal fortune and his friendships with Hollywood A listers grew, his main passion of soccer - and in particular England - held firm.

"To this day, one of my proudest achievements is captaining my country," Beckham said in his statement.

"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 honored to represent England both on and off the pitch."


Reaction to Beckham's retirement

David Beckham announces retirement

 "David Beckham, one of the most iconic figures in global football is retiring from playing. It's the end of a chapter of an amazing story."

- FIFA president Sepp Blatter

David Beckham announces retirement

"This guy has fantastic quality and has done the maximum in his career. Why? Because he loves football."

- Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger 

"I think he just feels like it's the right time"

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