20 years have passed by and it’s high time now for the ‘God’ to retire. He has achieved so much in this world that it will be very difficult to count on fingers. Yes, we are talking about ‘God of free kicks’ David Beckham.
Beckham started his youth career with Tottenham Hotspur, later joining Brimsdown Rovers and finally Manchester United. It was in May 1992 that he signed his first professional contract with Manchester United and that day proved to be lucky for him. But it was still time for him to play for the first team. He went to Preston North End on loan for part of the 1994-95 season to gain the first team experience. He impressed his fans there as he scored 2 goals in 5 appearances, notably scoring directly from a corner kick. He returned to Old Trafford and finally made his debut on 2 April 1995 in a goalless draw against Leeds United. He played four times in the first season as they finished on second behind Blackburn Rovers and missed a third Premier League title by a single point.
Beckham swiftly established himself as United’s right-sided midfielder (rather than a right-winger in the style of his predecessor Andrei Kanchelskis) and helped them to win the Premier League title and FA Cup double that season, scoring the winner in the semi-final against Chelsea and also provided the corner that Eric Cantona scored from in the FA Cup Final. Beckham’s first title medal had, for a while, looked like it would not be coming that season, as United were still 10 points adrift of leaders Newcastle United at the turn of the new year, but Beckham and his team-mates had overhauled the Tynesiders at the top of the league by mid March and they remained top until the end of the season.
Despite playing regularly (and to a consistently high standard) for Manchester United, Beckham did not break into the England squad before Euro 96. Slowly and gradually, Beckham became the star player of Manchester United, and there came the time when offers started to come for the English player.
In summer 2003 transfer window, it was declared that Beckham is going to Barcelona, and the two clubs even announced that they have reached a deal for Beckham’s transfer, but instead, he joined the Spanish giants Real Madrid for €35 million on a four-year contract. Here, he got the chance to play with big players like Raul, Zidane, Ronaldo, Figo, Roberto Carlos and Casillas. He appeared in 116 matches scoring 13 goals for the club. By this time, he became a legendary midfielder of football and also came to be known as ‘God of Free Kicks’, who was praised by all. He scored in many important matches and his goals were also important.
Beckham’s contract with MLS’ club Los Angeles Galaxy took effect on 11th July 2007, and on 13th July, it became official and he was now LA Galaxy’s midfielder. He chose to wear number 23 shirt. On 21st July, despite an injury in his ankle, he made his debut for Galaxy, coming on for Alan Gordon in the 78th minute in a friendly 0-1 loss to Chelsea as part of the World Series of Soccer.
Two weeks after his 12-minute appearance against Chelsea, he finally made his league debut on 9 August as a substitute away against DC United. He has scored 18 goals in 98 matches for the club.
He also joined Italian giants AC Milan on loan twice. Here, he got the chance to play with world class players like Kaka, Gattuso, Ronaldinho etc.
On 31st January, it was announced that Beckham would be undergoing a medical with Paris Saint Germain (PSG) ahead of a potential move to the Ligue 1 side. He signed a contract on a five-month deal with the club later that afternoon and it was confirmed that his entire salary during his time in PSG would be donated to a local children’s charity. He chose to wear number 32 shirt here. He appeared in total 9 matches without scoring a goal. His PSG debut came on 24 February 2013 when he came off the bench in the 76th minute against Olympique Marseille. This made him 400th player in the history of the club.
On 12 May, 2013, Beckham won the fourth different top flight winner after PSG defeated Lyon 1-0 to claim the Ligue 1 title.
On 16 May, 2013, he announced his retirement from the professional football after PSG’s last match against Brest at the end of the season.
David Beckham is a legend whom no one can ever forget. He will always be a LEGEND in the history of football.
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