David Beckham retires from football

38-year-old former Manchester United midfielder and England captain bows out of professional game

David Beckham has announced he is to retire from professional football at the end of the season.  

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The 38-year-old former England captain issued the following statement:

“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.

“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 … I want to thank all my team-mates, the great managers that I had the pleasure of learning from. I also want to thank the fans who have all supported me and given me the strength to succeed.

“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.”

During his decade-long senior career at Manchester United, Beckham made 265 appearances, scoring 62 goals, and winning six Premier League titles, two FA Cups and a Champions League trophy. In 2003, he joined Spanish giants Real Madrid, playing 166 matches in four years, during which he netted 13 goals and won the 2006/7 La Liga title.

A subsequent move stateside to LA Galaxy included two brief loans with Milan. In January this year, Beckham signed a five-month deal with French club Paris St Germain, donating his salary to a local children’s charity, and helping his new team to the Ligue 1 title.

Beckham’s England career spanned 14 years – six spent as captain – and saw him claim 155 caps for his country, scoring 17 goals in the process.

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Beckham is the first Englishman to have won league titles in four different countries – England, Spain, the USA and France – and the only to have scored in three World Cups.