News / Europe

Beckham Ending Pro Soccer Career

Paris St Germain's David Beckham reacts during their Champions League quarter-final first leg soccer match against Barcelona at the Parc des Princes Stadium in Paris, France, April 2, 2013.
Paris St Germain's David Beckham reacts during their Champions League quarter-final first leg soccer match against Barcelona at the Parc des Princes Stadium in Paris, France, April 2, 2013.
Parke Brewer
One of the most well-known and beloved soccer players in the world, David Beckham, is retiring at age 38.

After playing six season's with U.S. Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy, the former England captain has been with France's Paris Saint-Germain this season, where he won a league title in a fourth country.

Beckham also won championships with his boyhood club Manchester United, Spain's Real Madrid and the LA Galaxy, where he won two titles.

The midfielder holds the England record for most international appearances with 115.  He made his professional debut with Manchester United at age 14 and his first appearance for his national team in 1996 at age 21.

Considered a great ambassador for the sport, Beckham brought his talent to the United States in 2007, getting what was a staggering fee for an MLS player of $32.5 million for five years.

At the time, Beckham said he did not want to play in the United States just "to get the money."  He wanted a "new challenge of growing the world's most popular game."

And after he signed the huge deal, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber said "David Beckham is a global sports icon who will transcend the sport of soccer in America."

When Beckham joined MLS six years ago, the league had 13 teams.  It now has 19, including three based in Canada.

  • David Beckham arrives at a news conference in Sydney, November 25, 2007. He announced his retirement from football May 16, 2013.
  • David Beckham, left, Rio Ferdinand, top, and Michael Owen celebrate the team's second goal scored by Owen during the 2002 World Cup second round match against Denmark in Niigata, Japan, June 15, 2002.
  • David Beckham post-injury during the Italian serie A soccer match against Chievo in Milan, March 14, 2010.
  • Beckham is sprayed with champagne as the LA Galaxy celebrate defeating the Houston Dynamo 3-1 in the MLS Cup championship soccer game in Carson, Calif., December 1, 2012.
  • Manchester United's David Beckham after he scored the opening goal against Chelsea during their match at Stamford Bridge, January 4, 1998.
  • Victoria Adams poses with her then-fiancee, Manchester United footballer David Beckham, January 25, 1998.
  • The Beckhams arrive at Westminster Abbey before the wedding of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton, in London April 29, 2011.
  • Justin Bieber chats with David Beckham during the NBA game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Houston Rockets in Los Angeles, California, October 26, 2010.
  • Beckham sits courtside with his sons Cruz (L), Romeo (2nd R) and Brooklyn (R) before the NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns in Los Angeles, November 16, 2012.
  • Beckham poses with students from his old school at the launch of the David Beckham Academy in London, March 14, 2005.
  • AC Milan's David Beckham celebrates at the end of the match of against Juventus during their match at Olympic stadium in Turin, January 10, 2010.
  • Beckham, a London 2012 Olympic Games ambassador, after lighting the Olympic torch in Cornwall, England, May 18, 2012.
  • Beckham shows his tattoo after he was asked to by students at Peking University during his visit to Beijing March 24, 2013. The tattoo in Chinese characters reads, "Life and death are determined by fate, rank and riches decreed by Heaven."
  • Paris Saint-Germain's Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Beckham celebrate at the end of their team's French Ligue 1 soccer match against Olympique Lyon, May 12, 2013.

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