David Beckham
Overview
David Robert Joseph Beckham, OBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

(born 2 May 1975) is an English footballer who plays midfield
Midfielder
A midfielder is an association football position. Some midfielders play a more defensive role, while others blur the boundaries between midfielders and forwards. The number of midfielders a team uses during a match may vary, depending on the team's formation and each individual player's role...

 for Los Angeles Galaxy
Los Angeles Galaxy
The Los Angeles Galaxy are an American professional soccer team, based in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, California, which competes in Major League Soccer , the top professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. It is one of the ten charter clubs of MLS, and the league's second...

 in Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer is a professional soccer league based in the United States and sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation . The league is composed of 19 teams — 16 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada...

, having previously played for Manchester United
Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United Football Club is an English professional football club, based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, that plays in the Premier League. Founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, the club changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to Old Trafford in 1910.The 1958...

, Preston North End
Preston North End F.C.
Preston North End Football Club is an English professional football club located in the Deepdale area of the city of Preston, Lancashire, currently playing in the third tier of English league football, League One...

, Real Madrid
Real Madrid C.F.
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol , commonly known as Real Madrid, is a professional football club based in Madrid, Spain. The club have won a record 31 La Liga titles, the Primera División of the Liga de Fútbol Profesional , 18 Copas del Rey, 8 Spanish Super Cups, 1 Copa Eva Duarte and 1 Copa de la...

, and A.C. Milan
A.C. Milan
Associazione Calcio Milan, commonly referred to as A.C. Milan or simply Milan , is a professional Italian football club based in Milan, Lombardy, that plays in the Serie A. Milan was founded in 1899 by English lace-maker Herbert Kilpin and businessman Alfred Edwards among others...

, as well as the England national team
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in association football and is controlled by the Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England is the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside Scotland, whom they played in the world's first...

, for which he holds the all-time appearance record for an outfield player.

Beckham's career began when he signed a professional contract with Manchester United, making his first-team debut in 1992 aged 17. During his time there, United won the Premier League title six times, the FA Cup
FA Cup
The Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the FA Cup, is a knockout cup competition in English football and is the oldest association football competition in the world. The "FA Cup" is run by and named after The Football Association and usually refers to the English men's...

 twice, and the UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League, known simply the Champions League and originally known as the European Champion Clubs' Cup or European Cup, is an annual international club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations since 1955 for the top football clubs in Europe. It...

 in 1999.
Encyclopedia
David Robert Joseph Beckham, OBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

(born 2 May 1975) is an English footballer who plays midfield
Midfielder
A midfielder is an association football position. Some midfielders play a more defensive role, while others blur the boundaries between midfielders and forwards. The number of midfielders a team uses during a match may vary, depending on the team's formation and each individual player's role...

 for Los Angeles Galaxy
Los Angeles Galaxy
The Los Angeles Galaxy are an American professional soccer team, based in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, California, which competes in Major League Soccer , the top professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. It is one of the ten charter clubs of MLS, and the league's second...

 in Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer is a professional soccer league based in the United States and sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation . The league is composed of 19 teams — 16 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada...

, having previously played for Manchester United
Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United Football Club is an English professional football club, based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, that plays in the Premier League. Founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, the club changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to Old Trafford in 1910.The 1958...

, Preston North End
Preston North End F.C.
Preston North End Football Club is an English professional football club located in the Deepdale area of the city of Preston, Lancashire, currently playing in the third tier of English league football, League One...

, Real Madrid
Real Madrid C.F.
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol , commonly known as Real Madrid, is a professional football club based in Madrid, Spain. The club have won a record 31 La Liga titles, the Primera División of the Liga de Fútbol Profesional , 18 Copas del Rey, 8 Spanish Super Cups, 1 Copa Eva Duarte and 1 Copa de la...

, and A.C. Milan
A.C. Milan
Associazione Calcio Milan, commonly referred to as A.C. Milan or simply Milan , is a professional Italian football club based in Milan, Lombardy, that plays in the Serie A. Milan was founded in 1899 by English lace-maker Herbert Kilpin and businessman Alfred Edwards among others...

, as well as the England national team
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in association football and is controlled by the Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England is the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside Scotland, whom they played in the world's first...

, for which he holds the all-time appearance record for an outfield player.

Beckham's career began when he signed a professional contract with Manchester United, making his first-team debut in 1992 aged 17. During his time there, United won the Premier League title six times, the FA Cup
FA Cup
The Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the FA Cup, is a knockout cup competition in English football and is the oldest association football competition in the world. The "FA Cup" is run by and named after The Football Association and usually refers to the English men's...

 twice, and the UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League, known simply the Champions League and originally known as the European Champion Clubs' Cup or European Cup, is an annual international club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations since 1955 for the top football clubs in Europe. It...

 in 1999. He left Manchester United to sign for Real Madrid in 2003, where he remained for four seasons, clinching the La Liga
La Liga
The Primera División of the Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional , commonly known as La Liga or, for sponsorship reasons, Liga BBVA since 2008, is the top professional association football division of the Spanish football league system...

 championship in his final season with the club. In January 2007, it was announced that Beckham would leave Real Madrid for the Major League Soccer club Los Angeles Galaxy, signing a five-year contract with them on 1 July 2007. While a Galaxy player, he spent two loan spells in Italy with Milan in 2009 and 2010. On 20 November 2011, he joined an elite group of players to have won three league titles in three different countries, when Los Angeles won their third MLS Cup
MLS Cup
The MLS Cup is the championship match of Major League Soccer, the highest tier of professional soccer in the United States and Canada. As the final match of the MLS Cup playoffs, the winner is crowned the season champion in the same manner as other North American sports leagues...

.

In international football, Beckham made his England debut on 1 September 1996, at the age of 21. He was made captain from 15 November 2000 until the 2006 FIFA World Cup
2006 FIFA World Cup
The 2006 FIFA World Cup was the 18th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 9 June to 9 July 2006 in Germany, which won the right to host the event in July 2000. Teams representing 198 national football associations from all six...

 finals, during which he played 58 times. He earned a much-publicised hundredth cap
Cap (sport)
In sports, a cap is a metaphorical term for a player's appearance on a select team, such as a national team. The term dates from the practice in the United Kingdom of awarding a cap to every player in an international match of association football...

 against France on 26 March 2008, and became the all-time outfield player appearance record holder on 28 March 2009 when he surpassed Bobby Moore
Bobby Moore
Robert Frederick Chelsea "Bobby" Moore, OBE was an English footballer. He captained West Ham United for more than ten years and was captain of the England team that won the 1966 World Cup...

's total of 108 caps. With 115 career appearances to date he has stated that he does not intend to retire from international football, having missed the 2010 World Cup
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

 through injury and not featuring in England manager Fabio Capello
Fabio Capello
Fabio Capello is an Italian football manager and former player. He is the manager of the England national football team.Capello has the distinction of winning the domestic league title with every club he has coached throughout his career...

's post-World Cup plans.

Beckham has twice been runner-up for FIFA World Player of the Year
FIFA World Player of the Year
The FIFA World Player of the Year was an association football award given annually to the male and female player who were thought to be the best in the world, based on votes by coaches and captains of international teams...

 and in 2004 was the world's highest-paid footballer when taking into account salary and advertising deals. Beckham was the first British footballer to play 100 Champions League
UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League, known simply the Champions League and originally known as the European Champion Clubs' Cup or European Cup, is an annual international club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations since 1955 for the top football clubs in Europe. It...

 matches. He is third in the Premier League's all time time assist provider chart, with 152 assists in 265 appearances. He was Google
Google
Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program...

's most searched of all sports topics in both 2003 and 2004. With such global recognition he has become an elite advertising brand and a top fashion icon. When joining the MLS in 2007 he was given the highest player salary in the league's history, with his playing contract with the Galaxy over the next three years being worth US$6.5m per year.

He is married to Victoria Beckham
Victoria Beckham
Victoria Caroline Beckham is an English singer-songwriter, dancer, model, actress, fashion designer and businesswoman. In the late 1990s, Beckham rose to fame with the all-female pop group Spice Girls and was dubbed Posh Spice by the July 1996 issue of the British pop music magazine Top of the Pops...

 (previously Victoria Caroline Adams) and they have four children, Brooklyn Joseph, Romeo James, Cruz David, and Harper Seven. As of 2009, the couple's joint wealth is estimated at £125 million.

Childhood and early career

Beckham was born at Whipps Cross University Hospital
Whipps Cross University Hospital
Whipps Cross University Hospital is an NHS-run University Hospital in Whipps Cross, Waltham Forest, London, United Kingdom which housed London's first Hyperbaric Unit....

 in Leytonstone
Leytonstone
Leytonstone is an area of east London and part of the London Borough of Waltham Forest. It is a high density suburban area, located seven miles north east of Charing Cross in the ceremonial county of Greater London and the historic county of Essex...

, London, England. He is the son of Sandra Georgina (née West) (b. 1949), a hairdresser
Hairdresser
Hairdresser is a term referring to anyone whose occupation is to cut or style hair in order to change or maintain a person's image. This is achieved using a combination of hair coloring, haircutting, and hair texturing techniques...

, and David Edward Alan "Ted" Beckham (b. Edmonton, London
Edmonton, London
Edmonton is an area in the east of the London Borough of Enfield, England, north-north-east of Charing Cross. It has a long history as a settlement distinct from Enfield.-Location:...

, July–September 1948), a kitchen fitter, who married at the London Borough of Hackney
London Borough of Hackney
The London Borough of Hackney is a London borough of North/North East London, and forms part of inner London. The local authority is Hackney London Borough Council....

 in 1969, He regularly played football in Ridgeway Park, Chingford
Chingford
Chingford is a district of north east London, bordering on Enfield and Edmonton to the west, Woodford to the east, Walthamstow and Stratford to the south and Essex to the north. It is situated northeast of Charing Cross and forms part of the London Borough of Waltham Forest...

, as a child, and attended Chase Lane Primary School and Chingford Foundation School
Chingford Foundation School
Chingford Foundation School is a state secondary school located in Chingford in the London Borough of Waltham Forest. Notable alumni include professional footballer David Beckham, designer Jonathan Ive and the former professional head of the British Armed Forces, Peter Harding.-History:Chingford...

. In a 2007 interview, Beckham said that, "At school whenever the teachers asked, 'What do you want to do when you're older?' I'd say, 'I want to be a footballer.' And they'd say, 'No, what do you really want to do, for a job?' But that was the only thing I ever wanted to do." Beckham's maternal grandfather was Jewish, and Beckham has referred to himself as "half Jewish" and wrote in his autobiography "I've probably had more contact with Judaism than with any other religion". In his book Both Feet on the Ground, he stated that growing up he attended church every week with his parents and his older sister, Lynne Georgina and younger sister, Joanne Louise.

His parents were fanatical Manchester United
Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United Football Club is an English professional football club, based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, that plays in the Premier League. Founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, the club changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to Old Trafford in 1910.The 1958...

 supporters who would frequently travel to Old Trafford
Old Trafford
Old Trafford commonly refers to two sporting arenas:* Old Trafford, home of Manchester United F.C.* Old Trafford Cricket Ground, home of Lancashire County Cricket ClubOld Trafford can also refer to:...

 from London to attend the team's home matches. David inherited his parents' love of Manchester United, and his main sporting passion was football. He attended one of Bobby Charlton
Bobby Charlton
Sir Robert "Bobby" Charlton CBE is an English former professional football player, a member of the England team who won the World Cup and Ballon d'Or for European Footballer of the Year in 1966...

's football schools in Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

 and won the chance to take part in a training session at FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona
Futbol Club Barcelona , also known as Barcelona and familiarly as Barça, is a professional football club, based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain....

, as part of a talent competition. He played for a local youth team called the Ridgeway Rovers – coached by his father, Stuart Underwood and Steve Kirby. Beckham was a Manchester United mascot for a match against West Ham United
West Ham United F.C.
West Ham United Football Club is an English professional football club based in Upton Park, Newham, East London. They play in The Football League Championship. The club was founded in 1895 as Thames Ironworks FC and reformed in 1900 as West Ham United. In 1904 the club relocated to their current...

 in 1986. Young Beckham had trials with his local club Leyton Orient
Leyton Orient F.C.
Leyton Orient F.C. are an English professional football club in East London. They currently play in Football League One and are known to their fans as the O's.Leyton Orient have spent one season in the top flight of English football, in 1962–63...

, Norwich City
Norwich City F.C.
Norwich City Football Club is an English professional football club based in Norwich, Norfolk. As of the 2011–12 season, Norwich City are again playing in the Premier League after a six-year absence, having finished as runner up in the Championship in 2010–11 and winning automatic promotion.The...

 and attended Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur F.C.
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club , commonly referred to as Spurs, is an English Premier League football club based in Tottenham, north London. The club's home stadium is White Hart Lane....

's school of excellence. Tottenham Hotspur was the first club he played for. During a two-year period in which Beckham played for Brimsdown Rovers
Brimsdown Rovers F.C.
Brimsdown Rovers F.C. were a football club based in Brimsdown in the London Borough of Enfield, England. They played their home games at the Goldsdown Road stadium, Brimsdown in the London Borough of Enfield....

' youth team, he was named Under-15 Player of the Year in 1990. He also attended Bradenton Preparatory Academy, but signed schoolboy forms at Manchester United on his fourteenth birthday, and subsequently signed a Youth Training Scheme
Youth Training Scheme
The Youth Training Scheme was the former name in the United Kingdom of an on-the-job training course for school leavers aged 16 and 17, managed by the Manpower Services Commission...

 contract on 8 July 1991.

Manchester United

Beckham was part of a group of young players at the club who guided the club to win the FA Youth Cup
FA Youth Cup
The Football Association Youth Challenge Cup is an English football competition run by The Football Association for under–18 sides. Only those players between the age of 15 and 18 on 31 August of the current season are eligible to take part...

 in May 1992, with Beckham scoring in the second leg of the final against Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace F.C.
Crystal Palace Football Club are an English Football league club based in South Norwood, London. The team plays its home matches at Selhurst Park, where they have been based since 1924. The club currently competes in the second tier of English Football, The Championship.Crystal Palace was formed in...

. He made his first appearance for United's first-team that year, as a substitute in a League Cup
Football League Cup
The Football League Cup, commonly known as the League Cup or, from current sponsorship, the Carling Cup, is an English association football competition. Like the FA Cup, it is played on a knockout basis...

 match against Brighton & Hove Albion
Brighton & Hove Albion F.C.
Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club are an English association football club based in the coastal city of Brighton & Hove, East Sussex. They currently play in the Football League Championship, the second tier of the English football league system....

, and signed his first professional contract shortly afterwards. United reached the final of the Youth Cup again the following year, with Beckham playing in their defeat by Leeds United
Leeds United A.F.C.
Leeds United Association Football Club are an English professional association football club based in Beeston, Leeds, West Yorkshire, who play in the Football League Championship, the second tier of the English football league system...

, and he won another medal in 1994 when the club's reserve team won their league, although he did not play in any first team games that season.

On 7 December 1994, Beckham made his UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League, known simply the Champions League and originally known as the European Champion Clubs' Cup or European Cup, is an annual international club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations since 1955 for the top football clubs in Europe. It...

 debut, scoring a goal in a 4–0 victory at home to Galatasaray
Galatasaray S.K. (football team)
Galatasaray Anonim Şirketi is a Turkish football club, part of the Galatasaray S.K. multi-sport club of Istanbul. Galatasaray is a major sports club in Turkey, holding 17 Turkish Super League titles and the highest number of Turkish Cups....

 in the final game of the group stage. However, this victory was of little use as they finished third out of four in their group behind FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona
Futbol Club Barcelona , also known as Barcelona and familiarly as Barça, is a professional football club, based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain....

 on goal difference.

He then went to Preston North End
Preston North End F.C.
Preston North End Football Club is an English professional football club located in the Deepdale area of the city of Preston, Lancashire, currently playing in the third tier of English league football, League One...

 on loan for part of the 1994–95 season
1994-95 in English football
-Premiership:Blackburn Rovers ended their 81-year wait for the league title thanks to the strike partnership of Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton which scored a total of more than 50 league goals. Manchester United would have made it three league titles in a row if they had been able to turn a 1-1 draw...

 to get some first team experience. He impressed, scoring two goals in five appearances, notably scoring directly from a corner kick
Corner kick
A corner kick is a method of restarting play in a game of association football. It was first devised in Sheffield under the Sheffield Rules 1867...

. Beckham returned to Manchester and finally made his Premier League debut for Manchester United on 2 April 1995, in a goal-less draw against Leeds United
Leeds United A.F.C.
Leeds United Association Football Club are an English professional association football club based in Beeston, Leeds, West Yorkshire, who play in the Football League Championship, the second tier of the English football league system...

. He played four times for United in the league that season, as they finished second behind Blackburn Rovers
Blackburn Rovers F.C.
Blackburn Rovers Football Club is an English professional association football club based in the town of Blackburn, Lancashire. The team currently competes in the Premier League, the top tier of English football....

 and missed a third successive Premier League title by a single point. He was not in the squad for United's FA Cup final clash with Everton
Everton F.C.
Everton Football Club are an English professional association football club from the city of Liverpool. The club competes in the Premier League, the highest level of English football...

 on 20 May, which they lost 1–0 and were left without a major trophy for the first time since 1989.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson
Alex Ferguson
Sir Alexander Chapman "Alex" Ferguson, CBE is a Scottish association football manager and former player, currently managing Manchester United, where he has been in charge since 1986...

 had a great deal of confidence in the club's young players. Beckham was part of a group of young talents Ferguson brought in to United in the 1990s (known as "Fergie's Fledglings
Fergie's Fledglings
Fergie's Fledglings were a group of Manchester United players recruited under the management of Alex Ferguson and trained by assistant coaches Brian Kidd and Eric Harrison, before eventually progressing to the first team...

"), which included Nicky Butt
Nicky Butt
Nicholas "Nicky" Butt is an English footballer. He began his career with Manchester United and spent 12 years in their first-team before moving to Newcastle United in 2004. He spent one season on loan to Birmingham City in 2005–06...

 and Gary
Gary Neville
Gary Alexander Neville is a former English footballer. He is England's most capped right-back and was Manchester United's club captain for five years....

 and Phil Neville. When experienced players Paul Ince
Paul Ince
Paul Emerson Carlyle Ince is an English football manager and a former professional player. He has managed Blackburn Rovers, Milton Keynes Dons and Macclesfield Town...

, Mark Hughes
Mark Hughes
Leslie Mark Hughes, OBE , is a former Welsh international footballer. As an international footballer, he made 72 appearances and scored 16 goals....

, and Andrei Kanchelskis
Andrei Kanchelskis
Andrei Antanasovich Kanchelskis is a Ukrainian-born Russian football manager and former association footballer who played as a right winger. Kanchelskis is the only player in history to have scored in each of the Glasgow, Merseyside and Manchester local derbies.Currently, he is managing FC...

 left the club after the end of the 1994–95 season, his decision to let youth team players replace them instead of buying star players from other clubs (United had been linked with moves for players including Darren Anderton
Darren Anderton
Darren Robert Anderton is a retired English footballer who spent most of his career with Tottenham Hotspur as a midfielder. He played 30 times for the England national football team, scoring 7 goals.-Career:...

, Marc Overmars
Marc Overmars
Marc Overmars is a retired Dutch footballer. He is best known as a right-footed left winger, although he is able to use both his feet with equal precision and power...

, and Roberto Baggio
Roberto Baggio
Roberto Baggio is a retired Italian footballer. Widely regarded as one of the finest footballers of his generation, Baggio won both the Ballon d'Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year in 1993. He is the only Italian player ever to score in three World Cups. He is also one of the top 5 all-time...

, but no major signings were made that summer), drew a great deal of criticism. The criticism increased when United started the season with a 3–1 defeat at Aston Villa
Aston Villa F.C.
Aston Villa Football Club is an English professional association football club based in Witton, Birmingham. The club was founded in 1874 and have played at their current home ground, Villa Park, since 1897. Aston Villa were founder members of The Football League in 1888. They were also founder...

, with Beckham scoring United's only goal of the game; however, United won their next five matches and the young players performed well.

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
FA Cup
The Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the FA Cup, is a knockout cup competition in English football and is the oldest association football competition in the world. The "FA Cup" is run by and named after The Football Association and usually refers to the English men's...

 double
The Double
The Double is a term in association football which refers to winning a country's top tier division and its primary cup competition in the same season...

 that season, scoring the winner in the semi-final against Chelsea
Chelsea F.C.
Chelsea Football Club are an English football club based in West London. Founded in 1905, they play in the Premier League and have spent most of their history in the top tier of English football. Chelsea have been English champions four times, FA Cup winners six times and League Cup winners four...

 and also provided the corner
Corner kick
A corner kick is a method of restarting play in a game of association football. It was first devised in Sheffield under the Sheffield Rules 1867...

 that Eric Cantona
Eric Cantona
Eric Daniel Pierre Cantona is a French actor and former French international footballer. He played for Auxerre, Martigues, Marseille, Bordeaux, Montpellier, Nîmes and Leeds United before ending his professional footballing career at Manchester United, where he won four Premier League titles in...

 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
Newcastle United F.C.
Newcastle United Football Club is an English professional association football club based in Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear. The club was founded in 1892 by the merger of Newcastle East End and Newcastle West End, and has played at its current home ground, St James' Park, since the merger...

 at the turn of the new year, but Beckham and his team-mates had overhauled the Tyneside
Tyneside
Tyneside is a conurbation in North East England, defined by the Office of National Statistics, which is home to over 80% of the population of Tyne and Wear. It includes the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and the Metropolitan Boroughs of Gateshead, North Tyneside and South Tyneside — all settlements on...

rs 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.

At the beginning of the 1996–97 season David Beckham was given the number 10 shirt that had most recently been worn by Mark Hughes. On 17 August 1996 (the first day of the Premier League season), Beckham became something of a household name when he scored a spectacular goal in a match against Wimbledon
Wimbledon F.C.
Wimbledon Football Club was an English professional association football club from Wimbledon, south-west London. Founded in 1889 as Wimbledon Old Central Football Club, the club spent most of its history in amateur and semi-professional non-League football before being elected to the Football...

. With United leading 2–0, Beckham noticed that Wimbledon's goalkeeper Neil Sullivan
Neil Sullivan
Neil Sullivan is an English-born Scottish ex-international professional Association footballer. A goalkeeper, Sullivan currently plays for Doncaster Rovers after signing on a permanent basis from Leeds United at the end of the 2006–07 season, following two loan moves to Doncaster...

 was standing a long way out of his goal, and hit a shot from the halfway line that floated over the goalkeeper and into the net. When Beckham scored his famous goal, he did so in shoes custom-made for Charlie Miller
Charlie Miller
Charles "Charlie" Miller is a Scottish football player who is currently without a club following his release from Clyde...

 ("Charlie" embroidered on boots), which had been given to Beckham by mistake. In a UK poll conducted by Channel 4
Channel 4
Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster which began working on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority , the station is now owned and operated by the Channel...

 in 2002, the British public voted the goal No.18 in the list of the 100 Greatest Sporting Moments. During the 1996–97 season, he became an automatic first-choice player at United helping them to retain the Premier League championship, and being voted PFA Young Player of the Year
PFA Young Player of the Year
The Professional Footballers' Association Young Player of the Year is an annual award given to the player aged 23 or under at the start of the season who is adjudged to have been the best of the season in English football...

 by his peers.

On 18 May 1997, Eric Cantona retired as a player and left the coveted number 7 shirt free, and with Teddy Sheringham arriving from Tottenham Hotspur as Cantona's successor, Beckham left his number 10 shirt for Sheringham and picked up the number 7 jersey. Some fans had felt the number 7 shirt should be retired after Cantona had himself retired, but the shirt number remains in use to this day (most recently by another England
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in association football and is controlled by the Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England is the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside Scotland, whom they played in the world's first...

 star Michael Owen
Michael Owen
Michael James Owen is an English professional footballer who plays as a striker for Manchester United.The son of former footballer Terry Owen, Owen began his senior career at Liverpool in 1996. He progressed through the Liverpool youth team and scored on his debut in May 1997...

).

United started the 1997–98 season well but erratic performances in the second half of the season saw United finish second behind Arsenal
Arsenal F.C.
Arsenal Football Club is a professional English Premier League football club based in North London. One of the most successful clubs in English football, it has won 13 First Division and Premier League titles and 10 FA Cups...

.

In the 1998–99 season, he was part of the United team that won The Treble
The Treble
The term treble or Treble is used in association football to refer to a team winning three trophies in a single season. Honours usually considered to contribute to a treble are the top-tier domestic league competition, domestic cup competitions, and continental tournaments; although this depends to...

 of the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League
UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League, known simply the Champions League and originally known as the European Champion Clubs' Cup or European Cup, is an annual international club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations since 1955 for the top football clubs in Europe. It...

, a unique feat in English football. There had been speculation that the criticism that he had received after being sent off in the World Cup would lead to him leaving England, but he decided to stay at Manchester United.

To ensure they would win the Premier League title, United needed to win their final league match of the season, at home to Tottenham Hotspur (with reports suggesting that the opposition would allow themselves to be easily beaten to prevent their deadly local rivals Arsenal
Arsenal F.C.
Arsenal Football Club is a professional English Premier League football club based in North London. One of the most successful clubs in English football, it has won 13 First Division and Premier League titles and 10 FA Cups...

 from retaining the title), but Tottenham took an early lead in the match. Beckham scored the equaliser and United went on to win the match and the league.

Beckham played centre-midfield in United's win over Bayern Munich
FC Bayern Munich
FC Bayern Munich , is a German sports club based in Munich, Bavaria. It is best known for its professional football team, which is the most successful football club in Germany, having won 22 national titles and 15 cups....

 in the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final
1999 UEFA Champions League Final
The 1999 UEFA Champions League Final was a football match that took place on Wednesday, 26 May 1999. The match was played at Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain, to determine the winner of the 1998–99 UEFA Champions League. The final was contested by Manchester United and Bayern Munich...

, since United's first string centre-midfielders Paul Scholes and Roy Keane
Roy Keane
Roy Maurice Keane is an Irish former footballer and manager. In his 18-year playing career, he played for Cobh Ramblers in the League of Ireland, Nottingham Forest and Manchester United, before ending his career at Celtic in Scotland....

 were suspended for the match. United were losing the match 1–0 at the end of normal time, but won the trophy by scoring two goals in injury time. Both of the goals came from corners taken by Beckham. Those crucial assists, coupled with great performances over the rest of the season, led to him finishing runner up to Rivaldo
Rivaldo
Rivaldo Vítor Borba Ferreira , commonly known simply as Rivaldo , is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays for São Paulo, on loan from Mogi Mirim, as an attacking midfielder and sometimes as a supporting striker.He most notably played five years with Spanish club FC Barcelona, with whom he...

 for 1999's European Footballer of the Year and FIFA World Player of the Year
FIFA World Player of the Year
The FIFA World Player of the Year was an association football award given annually to the male and female player who were thought to be the best in the world, based on votes by coaches and captains of international teams...

 awards.

Despite Beckham's achievements in the 1998–99 season, he was still unpopular among some opposition fans and journalists, and he was criticised after being sent off for a deliberate foul in Manchester United's World Club Championship
FIFA Club World Cup
The FIFA Club World Cup is a football competition between the champion clubs from all six continental confederations.The first FIFA Club World Championship took place in Brazil in January 2000...

 match against Necaxa. It was suggested in the press that his wife was a bad influence on him, and that it might be in United's interests to sell him, but his manager publicly backed him and he stayed at the club. During the 1999–2000 season, there was a talk of a transfer to Juventus
Juventus F.C.
Juventus Football Club S.p.A. , commonly referred to as Juventus and colloquially as Juve , are a professional Italian association football club based in Turin, Piedmont...

 in Italy, but this never happened.

By the early 2000s, the relationship between Ferguson and Beckham had begun to deteriorate, possibly as a result of Beckham's fame and commitments away from football. In 2000, Beckham was given permission to miss training to look after his son Brooklyn, who had gastroenteritis
Gastroenteritis
Gastroenteritis is marked by severe inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract involving both the stomach and small intestine resulting in acute diarrhea and vomiting. It can be transferred by contact with contaminated food and water...

, but Ferguson was furious when Victoria Beckham
Victoria Beckham
Victoria Caroline Beckham is an English singer-songwriter, dancer, model, actress, fashion designer and businesswoman. In the late 1990s, Beckham rose to fame with the all-female pop group Spice Girls and was dubbed Posh Spice by the July 1996 issue of the British pop music magazine Top of the Pops...

 was photographed at a London Fashion Week event on the same night, claiming that Beckham would have been able to train if Victoria had looked after Brooklyn that day. He responded by fining Beckham the maximum amount that was permitted (two weeks' wages – then £50,000) and dropping him for a crucial match against United's rivals Leeds United
Leeds United A.F.C.
Leeds United Association Football Club are an English professional association football club based in Beeston, Leeds, West Yorkshire, who play in the Football League Championship, the second tier of the English football league system...

. He later criticised Beckham for this in his autobiography, claiming he had not been "fair to his teammates" Beckham had a good season for his club, though, and helped United to win the Premier League by a record margin.

"He was never a problem until he got married. He used to go into work with the academy coaches at night time, he was a fantastic young lad. Getting married into that entertainment scene was a difficult thing – from that moment, his life was never going to be the same. He is such a big celebrity, football is only a small part."' – Alex Ferguson speaking about Beckham's marriage in 2007.


Beckham helped United retain the Premier League title in 1999–2000
1999-2000 in English football
-Premier League:Manchester United were crowned FA Premier League champions with an 18-point margin over runners-up Arsenal and with just 3 league defeats all season. This was despite their failure to retain the European Cup and withdrawal from the FA Cup in order to compete in the FIFA Club World...

 by an 18-point margin – after being pushed by Arsenal
Arsenal F.C.
Arsenal Football Club is a professional English Premier League football club based in North London. One of the most successful clubs in English football, it has won 13 First Division and Premier League titles and 10 FA Cups...

 and Leeds United for much of the season, United won their final 11 league games of the season, with Beckham scoring five goals during this fantastic run of form. He managed six league goals that season, and scored eight goals in all competitions.

He was a key player in United's third successive league title in 2000–01
2000-01 in English football
The 2000–01 season was the 121st season of competitive football in England.-Overview:Manchester United secured their 3rd Premiership title in succession and their 7th title in just nine seasons...

 – only the fourth time that any club had achieved three league titles in a row. He scored nine goals that season, all in the Premier League.

On 10 April 2002, Beckham was injured during a Champions League match against Deportivo La Coruña
Deportivo de La Coruña
Real Club Deportivo de La Coruña is a professional football club based in the city of A Coruña, Galicia; founded in 1906 and currently playing in Segunda División...

, breaking the second metatarsal
Metatarsus
The metatarsus or metatarsal bones are a group of five long bones in the foot located between the tarsal bones of the hind- and mid-foot and the phalanges of the toes. Lacking individual names, the metatarsal bones are numbered from the medial side : the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth...

 bone in his left foot. There was speculation in the British media that the injury might have been caused deliberately, as the player who had injured Beckham was Argentine Aldo Duscher
Aldo Duscher
Álvaro 'Aldo' Pedro Duscher is an Argentine footballer who plays for Barcelona Sporting Club in Ecuador, as a defensive midfielder....

, and England
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in association football and is controlled by the Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England is the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside Scotland, whom they played in the world's first...

 and Argentina
Argentina national football team
The Argentina national football team represents Argentina in association football and is controlled by the Argentine Football Association , the governing body for football in Argentina. Argentina's home stadium is Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti and their head coach is Alejandro...

 were due to meet in that year's World Cup. The injury prevented Beckham from playing for United for the rest of the season and they missed out on the Premier League title to Arsenal (also being knocked out of the European Cup by Bayer Leverkusen on away goals in the semi-finals), but he signed a three-year contract in May, following months of negotiations with the club, mostly concerning extra payments for his image rights. The income from his new contract, and his many endorsement deals, made him the highest-paid player in the world at the time.

2001–02 was arguably Beckham's best season as a United player, though. He scored 11 goals in 28 league games, and a total of 16 goals in 42 games in all competitions, the best tally of his career.

Following an injury early in the 2002–03 season, Beckham was unable to regain his place on the Manchester United team, with Ole Gunnar Solskjær
Ole Gunnar Solskjær
Ole Gunnar Solskjær is the manager of Norwegian first division side Molde. He is better known as a former footballer who spent most of his career playing for Manchester United. Often dubbed "the baby-faced assassin," he played 366 times for the Red Devils and scored 126 goals during a very...

 having replaced him on the right side of midfield. His relationship with his manager deteriorated further on 15 February 2003 when, in the changing room following an FA Cup
FA Cup
The Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the FA Cup, is a knockout cup competition in English football and is the oldest association football competition in the world. The "FA Cup" is run by and named after The Football Association and usually refers to the English men's...

 defeat to Arsenal, a furious Alex Ferguson threw
or kicked a boot
Football boot
Football boots, called cleats or soccer shoes in North America, are an item of footwear worn when playing association football. Those designed for grass pitches have studs on the bottom to aid grip...

 that struck Beckham over the eye, causing a cut that required stitches. The incident led to a great deal of transfer speculation involving Beckham, with bookmaker
Bookmaker
A bookmaker, or bookie, is an organization or a person that takes bets on sporting and other events at agreed upon odds.- Range of events :...

s offering odds on whether he or Ferguson would be first to leave the club. Although the team had started the season badly, their results improved greatly from December onwards and they won the league, with Beckham managing a total of 11 goals in 52 games in all competitions.

He was still a first-choice player for England, however, and was awarded an OBE for services to football on 13 June 2003.

Beckham had made 265 Premier league appearances for United and scored 61 goals. He also made 81 Champions league appearances, scoring 15 goals. Beckham won six Premier League titles, two FA Cups, one European Cup
UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League, known simply the Champions League and originally known as the European Champion Clubs' Cup or European Cup, is an annual international club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations since 1955 for the top football clubs in Europe. It...

, one Intercontinental Cup, and one FA Youth Cup in the space of 12 years. By this stage, he was their joint second longest serving player behind Ryan Giggs
Ryan Giggs
Ryan Joseph Giggs OBE is a Welsh professional footballer who plays for Manchester United. Giggs made his first appearance for the club during the 1990–91 season and has been a regular player since the 1991–92 season...

 (having joined them at the same time as Nicky Butt
Nicky Butt
Nicholas "Nicky" Butt is an English footballer. He began his career with Manchester United and spent 12 years in their first-team before moving to Newcastle United in 2004. He spent one season on loan to Birmingham City in 2005–06...

, Gary Neville
Gary Neville
Gary Alexander Neville is a former English footballer. He is England's most capped right-back and was Manchester United's club captain for five years....

 and Paul Scholes
Paul Scholes
Paul Scholes is a retired English footballer, a one-club man who played his entire professional career for Manchester United.Born in Salford, but later moving to Langley, Scholes excelled in both cricket and football in school. He first trained with Manchester United at the age of 14 after being...

).

Real Madrid

As the summer 2003 transfer window approached Manchester United appeared keen to sell Beckham to FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona
Futbol Club Barcelona , also known as Barcelona and familiarly as Barça, is a professional football club, based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain....

 and the two clubs even announced that they reached a deal to move the player to Barcelona, but instead he joined reigning Spanish champions Real Madrid
Real Madrid C.F.
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol , commonly known as Real Madrid, is a professional football club based in Madrid, Spain. The club have won a record 31 La Liga titles, the Primera División of the Liga de Fútbol Profesional , 18 Copas del Rey, 8 Spanish Super Cups, 1 Copa Eva Duarte and 1 Copa de la...

 for €35 million (£25m) transfer fee on a four-year contract as the latest of the galáctico signings by club president Florentino Pérez
Florentino Pérez
Florentino Pérez Rodríguez is a Spanish businessman, civil engineer, former politician, and current president of Real Madrid Club de Fútbol, as well as ACS...

. The news came as a bitter pill to the newly elected Barça president Joan Laporta
Joan Laporta
Joan Laporta i Estruch is a Spanish politician and former president of Futbol Club Barcelona between 2003 and 2010.Laporta is a lawyer with his own firm, Laporta & Arbós, which has important firms as clients. Laporta was married to Constanza Echevarría and has three sons, Pol, Guillem and Jan...

 who based much of his presidential campaign precisely on signing Beckham. Though announced in mid-June, the transfer was completed on 1 July 2003, making him the third Englishman to play for the club after Laurie Cunningham
Laurie Cunningham
Laurence Paul "Laurie" Cunningham was an England international footballer. When he joined Real Madrid, he became the first English player in the club's history....

 and Steve McManaman
Steve McManaman
Steven McManaman is a retired English footballer who played as a midfielder, winger and playmaker. Having spent his playing career at two of European football's most successful clubs of the 20th century, Liverpool and Real Madrid, as well as a spell at Manchester City, McManaman is the most...

. Following a successful medical on 2 July, Beckham was unveiled in front of 500 accredited journalists from 25 countries at Real's basketball facility where he was handed the Real shirt by club legend Alfredo di Stéfano
Alfredo Di Stéfano
Alfredo Stéfano Di Stéfano Laulhé, born into a family of Italian immigrants from Capri, is a former Argentinian footballer and coach, widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time...

. Although Beckham had worn the number seven shirt for Manchester United and England, he was unable to wear it at Madrid as it was currently assigned to club captain Raúl
Raúl González
Raúl González Blanco , known simply as Raúl, is a Spanish footballer who plays as a striker. He currently plays for German club Schalke 04....

. The Englishman decided to wear number 23 instead, citing his admiration of basketball player Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan
Michael Jeffrey Jordan is a former American professional basketball player, active entrepreneur, and majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats...

, who also wore the number 23 shirt, as the reason behind his decision.

In the week before Beckham presentation, Real named Carlos Queiroz
Carlos Queiroz
Carlos Manuel Brito Leal Queiroz ComIH is a Portuguese football manager. He is currently the manager of the Iran national football team. A former manager of Real Madrid, and Portugal national football team, he has also twice been Alex Ferguson's assistant manager at English club Manchester...

 as their new head coach, meaning that Beckham got reunited with a familiar face upon arriving to Madrid since Queiroz spent the previous season as Alex Ferguson's assistant at Manchester United. In late July 2003, the club went on a tour of the Far East as part of the pre-season training, but also to cash in on Beckham's huge marketing appeal in Asia where he enjoyed tremendous following. Real's brand recognition in that part of the globe was already well established as the club made financially successful trips to Asia during previous off-seasons, however the presence of global marketing icon such as Beckham made this particular tour a financial smash for los Merengues.

Shortly after his Real switch, Beckham also dropped his longtime agent Tony Stephens of SFX Europe who guided him to and through super-stardom and was one of the key players that engineered Beckham's move from Manchester to Madrid. Beckham signed on with Simon Fuller
Simon Fuller
Simon Fuller is a British artist manager, television producer and creator of the Idol franchise, first seen as Pop Idol in the UK. Fuller is also the co-creator and executive producer of the Fox TV reality show So You Think You Can Dance and other U.S...

 and his company 19 Entertainment
19 Entertainment
19 Entertainment, based in Los Angeles, United States, is a creator and producer of entertainment properties based around the areas of Music and Television / Film, including American Idol in the United States, Pop Idol in the United Kingdom as well as versions of the Idol series in more than...

 that already managed the career of David's wife Victoria. Beckham also appointed close friend Terry Byrne
Terry Byrne
Terry Byrne is an English businessman, director of various companies connected to football that are active in the United Kingdom and the United States...

 to be his personal manager.

In late August 2003, Real Madrid won the Spanish Super Cup
2003 Supercopa de España
The 2003 Supercopa de España was two-leg Spanish football matches played on 24 August and 27 August 2003. It contested by RCD Mallorca, who were Spanish Cup winners in 2002–03, and Real Madrid, who won the 2002–03 Spanish League. Real Madrid won 4–2 on aggregate.-First leg:-Second leg:-References:...

 over two legs versus RCD Mallorca
RCD Mallorca
Real Club Deportivo Mallorca is a Spanish football team based on Palma, Majorca, in the Balearic Islands. Founded on 5 March 1916, the team currently plays in the Spanish first division, holding home games at Son Moix....

, with Beckham scoring the final goal in a 3–0 return leg win at home, thus setting the stage for the start of the league season. Playing on a star-laden team along with Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Yazid Zidane is a retired French footballer. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. Zidane was a leading figure of a generation of French players that won the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship...

, Ronaldo
Ronaldo
Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima , commonly known as Ronaldo, is a retired Brazilian footballer who last played for Corinthians. Ronaldo is widely considered to be the greatest 'pure' striker in the history of the modern game, and by some accounts, in the history of football. Ronaldo was one of the...

, Luis Figo
Luís Figo
Luís Filipe Madeira Caeiro Figo, OIH, is a Portuguese former international footballer. He played as a midfielder for Sporting CP, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Internazionale, during a career which spanned over a period of 20 years. He retired from football on 31 May 2009...

, Roberto Carlos, Raúl, Iker Casillas
Íker Casillas
Iker Casillas Fernández is a Spanish football goalkeeper who plays for the Spanish La Liga club Real Madrid and the Spanish national team, being the captain of both...

, etc., Beckham did not require much time to settle in, scoring five times in his first 16 matches (including a goal less than three minutes into his La Liga debut). Queiroz mostly favoured the adaptable 5–3–2 formation with two fullbacks Michel Salgado
Míchel Salgado
Miguel Ángel "Míchel" Salgado Fernández is a Spanish footballer who plays for Blackburn Rovers in the Premier League, as a right defender.Nicknamed Il Due , he is known for his combative tackling and attacking play...

 and Roberto Carlos often joining the attack down the wings, while Beckham quickly found a regular playing spot on the right of the 3-man midfield alongside Zidane and Figo.

Real Madrid were runners-up in the Copa del Rey, were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League at the quarter-final stage and finished the league season in fourth place, meaning the team, whose president Pérez expected them to win either the Spanish league or the Champions League each season, did not match expectations.

In July 2004, while Beckham was in pre-season training in Spain, an intruder scaled a wall at the Beckham home while carrying a can of petrol
Gasoline
Gasoline , or petrol , is a toxic, translucent, petroleum-derived liquid that is primarily used as a fuel in internal combustion engines. It consists mostly of organic compounds obtained by the fractional distillation of petroleum, enhanced with a variety of additives. Some gasolines also contain...

. Victoria and their children were in the house at the time, but security guards apprehended the man before he reached the house.

The league season began with new head coach José Antonio Camacho
José Antonio Camacho
José Antonio Camacho Alfaro is a retired Spanish footballer who played as a left defender, and the current coach of the China PR national football team....

 behind the bench, but he ended up lasting only three matches, handing in his resignation following week 3 fixture as Real dropped to eighth spot in the La Liga standings. Camacho's assistant Mariano García Remón
Mariano García Remón
Mariano García Remón is a former Spanish football player and coach.Best known for his spell at Real Madrid, the goalkeeper helped the capital side to six leagues and three cups.-Playing career:...

 took over on temporary basis as Real leadership scrambled to find a permanent replacement. Beckham made more headlines on 9 October 2004 when he admitted intentionally fouling Ben Thatcher
Ben Thatcher
Benjamin David "Ben" Thatcher is a professional association football player, who is currently a free agent...

 in an England match against Wales
Wales national football team
The Wales national football team represents Wales in international football. It is controlled by the Football Association of Wales , the governing body for football in Wales, and the third oldest national football association in the world. The team have only qualified for a major international...

 in order to get himself booked. Beckham was due to receive a one-match suspension for his next caution, and had picked up an injury, which he knew would keep him out of England's next match, so he deliberately fouled Thatcher in order to serve his suspension in a match that he would have had to miss anyway. The Football Association
The Football Association
The Football Association, also known as simply The FA, is the governing body of football in England, and the Crown Dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. It was formed in 1863, and is the oldest national football association...

 asked Beckham for an explanation of his actions and he admitted that he had "made a mistake" and apologised. He was sent off shortly afterwards, this time in a league match for Real Madrid against Valencia CF
Valencia CF
Valencia Club de Fútbol is a Spanish football club based in Valencia, Spain. They play in La Liga and are one of the most successful and biggest clubs in Spanish Football and European Football. Valencia have won six La Liga titles, seven Copa del Rey trophies, two Fairs Cups which was the...

. Having received a yellow card
Misconduct (football)
Misconduct in association football is any conduct by a player that is deemed by the referee to warrant a disciplinary sanction in accordance with Law 12 of the Laws of the Game. Misconduct may occur at any time, including when the ball is out of play, during half-time and before and after the...

, he was judged to have sarcastically applauded the referee and was given a second yellow card, causing an automatic dismissal, although the suspension was cancelled on appeal two days later.

By Christmas 2004, with the team sitting in second league spot, García Remón was gone as Vanderlei Luxemburgo
Vanderlei Luxemburgo
Vanderlei Luxemburgo da Silva , better known as Vanderlei Luxemburgo, is a Brazilian football manager and former football player. He holds the distinction of being the most successful manager in the history of Brazil's Série A, with 5 league titles...

 became the new head coach. However, the well-traveled Brazilian failed to inspire the team to the title as Real again finished the season in the runner-up spot.

On 3 December 2005, Beckham was sent off for the third time that season in a league match against Getafe CF
Getafe CF
Getafe Club de Fútbol is a Spanish La Liga football club based in Getafe, a city in the Madrid metropolitan area, founded in 1946 and refounded in 1983.In the top level since 2004-05, it holds home games at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez....

. One day later Luxemburgo got the axe and was replaced with Juan Ramón López Caro. By the end of that season, Beckham led La Liga in number of assists.

During the season, Beckham established football academies in Los Angeles and east London and he was named a judge for the 2006 British Book Awards.
Real Madrid finished second to Barcelona in the 2005–06 La Liga, albeit with a large 12-point gap, and reached the last 16 only in the Champions League after losing to Arsenal
Arsenal F.C.
Arsenal Football Club is a professional English Premier League football club based in North London. One of the most successful clubs in English football, it has won 13 First Division and Premier League titles and 10 FA Cups...

. The season also marked the end of an era for the club as Pérez resigned his president post in January 2006 with Vicente Boluda
Vicente Boluda
Vicente Boluda Fos is the president of Aguas de Valencia and former president of Spanish sports club Real Madrid.-Life and career:...

 named as replacement on interim basis until the end of the season.

The summer 2006 off-season marked a turbulent time as club president elections were held. Ramón Calderón
Ramón Calderón
José Ramón Calderón Ramos is a lawyer and an ex-President of Spanish sports club Real Madrid.-Life and career:...

 became the new Real president. As expected, none of the club officials that served under the previous president were kept, including head coach López Caro.

Initially out of favour with newly arrived head coach Fabio Capello
Fabio Capello
Fabio Capello is an Italian football manager and former player. He is the manager of the England national football team.Capello has the distinction of winning the domestic league title with every club he has coached throughout his career...

, Beckham started only a few games at the beginning of the season, as the speedier José Antonio Reyes
José Antonio Reyes
José Antonio Reyes Calderón is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Atlético Madrid.Mainly a left winger but also a forward, he made his professional debuts for hometown's Sevilla at only 16, signing with England's Arsenal aged 20.After a relatively successful career abroad, Reyes...

 was normally preferred on the right wing. In the first nine matches Beckham started, Real lost seven.

On 10 January 2007, after prolonged contract negotiations, Real Madrid's sporting director Predrag Mijatović
Predrag Mijatovic
Predrag "Peđa" Mijatović is a Montenegrin football player and former sports director of Real Madrid. He is considered one of Yugoslavia's best players of the 1990s. He was acclaimed as the best athlete of Yugoslavia in 1997...

 announced that Beckham would not remain at Real Madrid after the end of the season. However, he later claimed that he was mistranslated and that he actually said that Beckham's contract had not yet been renewed.

On 11 January 2007, Beckham announced that he had signed a five-year deal to play for Los Angeles Galaxy
Los Angeles Galaxy
The Los Angeles Galaxy are an American professional soccer team, based in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, California, which competes in Major League Soccer , the top professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. It is one of the ten charter clubs of MLS, and the league's second...

 beginning 1 July 2007. On 13 January 2007, Fabio Capello said that Beckham had played his last game for Real Madrid, although he would continue to train with the team. A few days later while speaking to the students at Villanueva University Center in Madrid, club president Calderón said that Beckham is "going to Hollywood to be half a film star", adding "our technical staff were right not to extend his contract, which has been proved by the fact that no other technical staff in the world wanted him except Los Angeles".

However, about a month later, Capello backtracked on his earlier statement, allowing Beckham to rejoin the team for the match against Real Sociedad
Real Sociedad
Real Sociedad de Fútbol, S.A.D. is a Spanish football club based in the city of San Sebastián, Basque Country, founded on 7 September 1909...

 on 10 February 2007. The player immediately repaid his head coach's trust by scoring the equalising goal from a 27-yard free kick as Real Madrid eventually recorded a 2–1 victory. In his final UEFA Champions League appearance for the club, Real Madrid were knocked out of the competition by Bayern Munich
FC Bayern Munich
FC Bayern Munich , is a German sports club based in Munich, Bavaria. It is best known for its professional football team, which is the most successful football club in Germany, having won 22 national titles and 15 cups....

 at the round-of-16 stage (on the away goals rule) on 7 March 2007. The return leg against Bayern was Beckham's 103rd match in the Champions League, at the time placing him third on the all-time appearances list in the competition.
On 17 June 2007, the last day of the La Liga season, Beckham started in his final match for the club, a 3–1 win over RCD Mallorca
RCD Mallorca
Real Club Deportivo Mallorca is a Spanish football team based on Palma, Majorca, in the Balearic Islands. Founded on 5 March 1916, the team currently plays in the Spanish first division, holding home games at Son Moix....

, which saw them clinch the title from Barcelona. With Real down 0–1 Beckham limped off the field and was replaced by José Antonio Reyes
José Antonio Reyes
José Antonio Reyes Calderón is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Atlético Madrid.Mainly a left winger but also a forward, he made his professional debuts for hometown's Sevilla at only 16, signing with England's Arsenal aged 20.After a relatively successful career abroad, Reyes...

 who scored two goals leading the team to that season's La Liga title, their first since Beckham had signed with them and 30th overall in club's history. Although Real and Barca both finished level on points, Madrid took the title because of superior head-to-head record, capping a remarkable six-month turnaround for Beckham. With his wife and children along with celebrity friends Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise
Thomas Cruise Mapother IV , better known as Tom Cruise, is an American film actor and producer. He has been nominated for three Academy Awards and he has won three Golden Globe Awards....

 and Katie Holmes
Katie Holmes
Katherine Noelle "Katie" Holmes is an American actress who first achieved fame for her role as Joey Potter on The WB television teen drama Dawson's Creek from 1998 to 2003. Her movie roles have included the blockbuster Batman Begins along with art house films such as The Ice Storm and thrillers...

 watching from a luxury box at Bernabeu Stadium, it was only Beckham's second piece of silverware since he joined the famous club.

Towards the end of the season, as Beckham was getting back into Capello's good books after successfully fighting his way back into the first team, Real Madrid
Real Madrid
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol , commonly known as Real Madrid, is a professional football club based in Madrid, Spain. The club have won a record 31 La Liga titles, the Primera División of the Liga de Fútbol Profesional , 18 Copas del Rey, 8 Spanish Super Cups, 1 Copa Eva Duarte and 1 Copa de la...

 announced they would try to untie his transfer to LA Galaxy, but were ultimately unsuccessful. Several weeks before Beckham's scheduled arrival to the United States, Real's management contacted LA Galaxy's ownership group about reacquiring the player, but were quickly turned down.

A month after the conclusion of Beckham's Real career, Forbes
Forbes
Forbes is an American publishing and media company. Its flagship publication, the Forbes magazine, is published biweekly. Its primary competitors in the national business magazine category are Fortune, which is also published biweekly, and Business Week...

magazine reported that he had been the party primarily responsible for the team's huge increase in merchandise sales, a total reported to top US$600 million during Beckham's four years at the club.

Los Angeles Galaxy

Beckham's involvement with Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer is a professional soccer league based in the United States and sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation . The league is composed of 19 teams — 16 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada...

 began while he was still a Real Madrid player when it was confirmed on 11 January 2007 that the world's most famous footballer would be leaving Madrid in six months in order to join MLS' Los Angeles Galaxy
Los Angeles Galaxy
The Los Angeles Galaxy are an American professional soccer team, based in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, California, which competes in Major League Soccer , the top professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. It is one of the ten charter clubs of MLS, and the league's second...

. The speculation about his new contract in Madrid was thus put to an end and the following day Beckham's official press conference was held in conjunction with the 2007 MLS SuperDraft
2007 MLS SuperDraft
The 2007 MLS SuperDraft, was held in Indianapolis, Indiana on January 12, 2007. It was the eighth annual Major League Soccer SuperDraft. The first selection belonged to expansion team Toronto FC.The SuperDraft was followed by the 2007 MLS Supplemental Draft....

.

Predictably, the announcement made top news all across the globe. Though many worldwide media outlets reported the deal to be worth US$250 million, the astronomical figure was soon revealed to be something of a PR stunt engineered by Beckham's media handlers (British representative agency 19 Entertainment
19 Entertainment
19 Entertainment, based in Los Angeles, United States, is a creator and producer of entertainment properties based around the areas of Music and Television / Film, including American Idol in the United States, Pop Idol in the United Kingdom as well as versions of the Idol series in more than...

). In order to maximise the media effect, in the press release they decided to list the potential sum that Beckham could make over the 5-year period from all his revenue sources, which in addition to his Galaxy pay also include his personal endorsements. Beckham's actual deal with the Galaxy was a 5-year contract worth US$32.5 million in total or $6.5 million per year. The cost of his signing was spread evenly among the then 14 MLS teams rather than picked up just by LA Galaxy because the goal was to boost the standing in America of professional soccer as a whole, against the country’s indigenous sports.

The high-profile acquisition paid immediate financial dividends for Galaxy long before Beckham joined the team. On the strength of the signing and the media frenzy it created, the club was able to pull off a new 5-year shirt sponsorship deal with Herbalife
Herbalife
Herbalife International is a global nutrition, weight-loss and skin-care company. The company was founded in 1980 and it employs around 4,000 people worldwide. Herbalife reported net sales of USD 2.7 billion in 2010...

 nutrition company worth US$20 million. The gate revenue peaked as well with 11,000 new season tickets holders and sold-out luxury suites (each one of the 42 inside the team's home ground, the Home Depot Center
The Home Depot Center
The Home Depot Center is a multiple-use sports complex located on the campus of California State University, Dominguez Hills in Carson, California. It is located approximately 10 miles south of Downtown Los Angeles. Its title sponsor is hardware retailer The Home Depot. The $150 million complex was...

). Even the LA Galaxy owners Anschutz Entertainment Group
Anschutz Entertainment Group
The Anschutz Entertainment Group is a sporting and music entertainment presenter and a subsidiary of The Anschutz Corporation. It is the world's largest owner of sports teams and sports events, the owner of the world’s most profitable sports and entertainment venues, and under AEG Live the world's...

 (AEG) saw an immediate spike in business. Involved on many business fronts worldwide, AEG was already leveraging its Beckham association in places such as China, where the company had been working aggressively in Shanghai and Beijing for years to receive clearance to build arenas and stadiums. The company's CEO Tim Leiweke
Tim Leiweke
Timothy Leiweke is President of Anschutz Entertainment Group , which owns the Los Angeles Kings, the Los Angeles Galaxy. part of the Los Angeles Lakers, as well as multiple sporting and entertainment venues around the world-References:...

 put it as follows: "Suddenly, we're known as the company that owns the team that David Beckham is going to play for, so our world changed".

In the months following the announcement, the additional terms of Beckham's contract became public knowledge. One unique contract provision was giving him the option of buying an MLS expansion franchise at a fixed price whenever he stopped playing in the league – an allowance that the league's owners had never given to a player before. Another provision was the opt-out clause after the 2009 season, meaning that should he decide so, Beckham was free to leave the club after completing year three of his 5-year contract.

In April 2007, he and wife Victoria bought an $18.2 million home on San Ysidro Drive in Beverly Hills.

Beckham's contract with LA Galaxy took effect on 11 July, and on 13 July, the famous Englishman was officially unveiled as a Galaxy player at the Home Depot Center to much fanfare and world media interest in front of more than 5,000 gathered fans and some 700 accredited media members. Beckham chose to wear number 23. It was announced that Galaxy jersey sales had already reached a record figure of over 250,000 prior to this formal introduction.

In parallel, Beckham's handlers at 19 Entertainment succeeded in putting together an unprecedented US media rollout designed to expand his carefully crafted personal brand in America. He made the cover of Sports Illustrated, a few weeks earlier Adidas
Adidas
Adidas AG is a German sports apparel manufacturer and parent company of the Adidas Group, which consists of the Reebok sportswear company, TaylorMade-Adidas golf company , and Rockport...

 launched the extensive 13-part ad campaign "Fútbol meets Football" starring Beckham and NFL running back Reggie Bush
Reggie Bush
Reginald Alfred "Reggie" Bush II is an American football running back for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League. He was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft...

, and W magazine published a racy photo spread featuring David and wife Victoria. Meanwhile, ESPN sports network was running "Hello, Goodbye" promotional campaign and it also agreed to air David Beckham: New Beginnings documentary produced by 19 Entertainment before the friendly match versus Chelsea
Chelsea F.C.
Chelsea Football Club are an English football club based in West London. Founded in 1905, they play in the Premier League and have spent most of their history in the top tier of English football. Chelsea have been English champions four times, FA Cup winners six times and League Cup winners four...

, which was expected to be Beckham's American debut. In addition to popularising soccer, Beckham's arrival was used as platform for entertainment industry endeavours. Since both Beckham's and his wife's often overlapping careers were handled by 19 Entertainment that's owned by Simon Fuller
Simon Fuller
Simon Fuller is a British artist manager, television producer and creator of the Idol franchise, first seen as Pop Idol in the UK. Fuller is also the co-creator and executive producer of the Fox TV reality show So You Think You Can Dance and other U.S...

, who in turn has a business relationship with the Creative Artists Agency (CAA), one of Hollywood's most powerful talent agencies, it was important also for CAA that the Beckhams made as big a splash as possible upon their arrival in the United States. On 16 July, CAA had hosted a welcoming bash for David at its new eight-storey, $400 million headquarters in Century City with CAA employees reportedly instructed beforehand to line the staircase and clap for Beckham upon his arrival. That night Victoria's reality show prime-time special Victoria Beckham: Coming to America
Victoria Beckham: Coming to America
Victoria Beckham: Coming to America was a one-hour American TV special that featured British former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham moving to the United States where her husband, David Beckham, begins his career playing football for LA Galaxy of the MLS....

aired on NBC, drawing terrible reviews in the American press and poor US viewership ratings.
On Saturday afternoon, 21 July, despite still nursing the injured left ankle that he picked up a month earlier during the final match of La Liga's season, Beckham made his Galaxy debut, coming on for Alan Gordon
Alan Gordon (soccer)
Alan Gordon is an American soccer player who currently plays for San Jose Earthquakes in Major League Soccer.-College:...

 in the 78th minute of a 0–1 friendly loss to Chelsea
Chelsea F.C.
Chelsea Football Club are an English football club based in West London. Founded in 1905, they play in the Premier League and have spent most of their history in the top tier of English football. Chelsea have been English champions four times, FA Cup winners six times and League Cup winners four...

 as part of the World Series of Soccer
World Series of Soccer (MLS)
The World Series of Soccer was a series of club games hosted by Major League Soccer from 2005 to 2007, It was used by MLS to provide its teams with opportunities to compete against top international teams.-Previous uses of name:...

. With a capacity crowd, along with a long Hollywood celebrity list featuring Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Eva Longoria
Eva Longoria
Eva Jacqueline Longoria is an American actress, best known for portraying Gabrielle Solis on the ABC television series Desperate Housewives...

, Mary-Kate Olsen
Mary-Kate Olsen
Mary-Kate Olsen is an American actress, producer, author and fashion designer. She made her career debut in 1987 alongside her twin sister Ashley Olsen in the television series Full House...

, governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger is an Austrian-American former professional bodybuilder, actor, businessman, investor, and politician. Schwarzenegger served as the 38th Governor of California from 2003 until 2011....

, Jennifer Love-Hewitt, Alicia Silverstone
Alicia Silverstone
Alicia Silverstone is an American actress, author, and former fashion model. She first came to widespread attention in music videos for Aerosmith, and is perhaps best known for her roles in Hollywood films such as Clueless and her portrayal of Batgirl in Batman & Robin .-Early life:Silverstone...

 and Drew Carey
Drew Carey
Drew Allison Carey is an American actor, singer, comedian, photographer, sports executive, and game show host. After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps and making a name for himself in stand-up comedy, Carey eventually gained popularity starring on his own sitcom, The Drew Carey Show, and serving as...

 among others, present at the Home Depot Center, the match was broadcast live on ESPN's main network. However, the proceedings on the field of play completely took a back seat to the Beckham spectacle, and despite the presence of worldwide football stars Andriy Shevchenko
Andriy Shevchenko
Andriy Mykolayovych Shevchenko is a Ukrainian footballer who plays for Dynamo Kyiv and the Ukraine national team as a striker. He is the third-highest scorer in the history of European club competition with 67 goals as of 2011-03-10, behind Filippo Inzaghi and Raúl. With 175 goals scored with A.C...

, Didier Drogba
Didier Drogba
Didier Yves Drogba Tébily is an Ivorian footballer who plays in the centre forward position. He currently plays for Chelsea in the Premier League, where he is deputy vice-captain, and is the captain and all-time top scorer of the Côte d'Ivoire national football team...

, Michael Ballack
Michael Ballack
Michael Ballack is a German professional footballer, who is currently playing for Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen. He is among the top goal scorers in the history of his international team. Ballack has worn the number 13 shirt for every team he has played for except for Kaiserslautern...

, Frank Lampard
Frank Lampard
Frank James Lampard is an English professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for Chelsea and the England national team. He also holds the position of vice-captain for his club side...

, and John Terry
John Terry
John George Terry is an English professional footballer. Terry plays in a centre back position and is the captain of Chelsea in the Premier League...

, the US television cameras were firmly focused on Beckham who spent most of the match on the bench. The match's added time featured a scare for already injured Beckham when he got tackled by Steve Sidwell
Steve Sidwell
Steven James "Steve" Sidwell is an English footballer who plays as a midfielder for Fulham in the Premier League. His previous clubs include Arsenal, Reading, Chelsea and Aston Villa.-Arsenal:...

 whose cleats struck Beckham's right foot, sending him airborne before he crumpled hard to the ground. Though the existing injury was not aggravated too much, Beckham's recovery process was set back by about a week. ESPN's presentation of Beckham's debut earned a 1.0 TV rating, meaning it was seen in an average of 947,000 television homes in the US – a disappointing figure given the national media buzz and two weeks of constant promotion by ESPN. For comparison ESPN2
ESPN2
ESPN2 is an American sports cable television network owned by ESPN. The channel debuted on October 1, 1993.Originally nicknamed "the deuce," ESPN2 was initially branded as a network for a younger generation of sports fans featuring edgier graphics as well as extreme sports like motocross,...

's weekly MLS broadcasts on Thursdays drew a consistent 0.2 rating on virtually no promotion while Freddy Adu
Freddy Adu
Fredua Koranteng "Freddy" Adu is a Ghanaian-born American soccer player who currently plays for Philadelphia Union in Major League Soccer. He plays primarily as an attacking midfielder, but he is also used as a winger or forward....

's MLS debut televised on ABC back in 2004 earned a 1.3 rating. As far as sporting events that were televised that weekend in the United States, Beckham's much publicised debut drew less TV viewers than British Open
2007 Open Championship
The 2007 Open Championship was the 136th Open Championship, played 19-22 July at Carnoustie Golf Links. Pádraig Harrington of Ireland defeated Sergio García of Spain in a playoff to take the title and his first major championship...

 golf tournament, a regular-season national baseball game, and even the Indy Racing League's Honda 200
2007 Honda 200
The 2007 Honda 200 was a race in the 2007 IRL IndyCar Series, held at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. It was held over the weekend of 20 -July 22, 2007, as the twelfth round of the seventeen-race calendar. It was the inaugural race for the IndyCar Series at the track.-Classification:- References :*...

 motor race.

The day after the made-for-TV debut was reserved for the welcoming party for the Beckhams at LA's Museum of Contemporary Art
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles is a contemporary art museum with three locations in greater Los Angeles, California. The main branch is located on Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles, near Walt Disney Concert Hall...

, formally billed as being hosted by Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Will Smith, and Jada Pinkett Smith though in actuality a CAA-organized event. Attended by many Hollywood A-list
A-list
A-list is a term that alludes to major movie stars, or the most bankable in the Hollywood film industry.The A-list is part of a larger guide called The Hot List that has become an industry-standard guide in Hollywood...

ers, the lavish bash was big news in the US celebrity tabloid media, including daily entertainment TV magazines such as Entertainment Tonight
Entertainment Tonight
Entertainment Tonight is a daily tabloid television entertainment television news show that is syndicated by CBS Television Distribution throughout the United States, Canada and in many countries around the world. Linda Bell Blue is currently the program's executive producer...

and Access Hollywood
Access Hollywood
Access Hollywood is a weekday television entertainment news program covering events and celebrities in the entertainment industry. It was created by former Entertainment Tonight executive producer Jim Van Messel, and is currently directed by Robert Silverstein. In previous years, Doug Dougherty and...

.

Back on the soccer front, Beckham missed the next four Galaxy matches – three in the North American SuperLiga
North American SuperLiga
The SuperLiga was an official North American association football competition between teams from the Primera División of Mexico and Major League Soccer of the United States and Canada, the top divisions in each country. The competition was sanctioned by CONCACAF, U.S...

 and an MLS game away at Toronto FC
Toronto FC
Toronto FC is a Canadian professional soccer club based in Toronto, Ontario which competes in Major League Soccer , the top professional soccer league in the United States and Canada....

 though he still made the trip with his teammates, sitting on the bench in street clothes. It was in Toronto on 5 August that the team got its first taste of what life would be like on the road with Beckham on the roster. Due to security concerns, it was the first time the team flew on a charter for a road match, rather than flying commercial (MLS normally forbids charter flights for away matches, claiming they provide competitive advantage, but in this case they made an exception due to the frenzy created around Beckham and resulting security issues). Also, instead of the usual MLS-mandated modest hotels, LA Galaxy stayed at the five-star Le Méridien King Edward
King Edward Hotel (Toronto)
The King Edward Hotel in Toronto, Canada is part of the Le Méridien chain of hotels. Officially known as the Le Méridien King Edward Hotel, it is also colloquially called the King Eddy.-Location:...

 in downtown Toronto (an expense paid for by the local Toronto promoter), while the glitz and glamour continued with the velvet rope, red carpet party at the Ultra Supper Club with Beckham as the centerpiece guest.

Two weeks after his 12-minute appearance vs. Chelsea, still not fully healed Beckham finally made his league debut as a substitute on 9 August away versus DC United
D.C. United
D.C. United is an American professional soccer club based in Washington, D.C. which competes in Major League Soccer , the top professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. It is one of the ten charter clubs of MLS, having competed in the league since its inception, in 1996.Over the...

 in front of the sellout crowd of 46,686 (nearly three times the average DC United home crowd) at the RFK Stadium, coming on for Quavas Kirk
Quavas Kirk
Quavas Kirk is an American soccer player who currently plays for Rochester Rhinos in the USL Professional Division.-Youth:Kirk did not play college soccer; he joined the U.S...

 in the 71st minute. Coming into the nationally televised match on ESPN, played under a heavy downpour with his team down a man and down a goal, even if only 70% fit, Beckham left a mark during the remaining twenty plus minutes. He hit a long free kick that Carlos Pavón
Carlos Pavón
Carlos Alberto Pavón Plummer is a Honduran football striker.He is most costly related to Real C.D. España of the Liga Nacional de Fútbol de Honduras....

 failed to finish on for the equalizier, and then in the final minutes Beckham served a weighted through ball into Donovan's path that United's keeper Troy Perkins
Troy Perkins
Troy Perkins is an American soccer player who currently plays for Portland Timbers in Major League Soccer.-College and amateur:...

 managed to break up in the last moment – the Galaxy lost 1–0. The next match on the road trip was at New England Revolution
New England Revolution
The New England Revolution is an American professional association football club based in Foxborough, Massachusetts which competes in Major League Soccer , the top professional soccer league in the United States and Canada...

 and Beckham decided to sit it out, fearing further aggrivating his ankle on the Gillette Stadium
Gillette Stadium
Gillette Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium located in Foxborough, Massachusetts, 21 miles southwest of downtown Boston and from downtown Providence, Rhode Island. It serves as the home stadium and administrative offices for the New England Patriots football team and the New England Revolution...

's artificial surface.

Beckham returned to the pitch the following week, again facing DC United, in the SuperLiga
North American SuperLiga
The SuperLiga was an official North American association football competition between teams from the Primera División of Mexico and Major League Soccer of the United States and Canada, the top divisions in each country. The competition was sanctioned by CONCACAF, U.S...

 semi-final on 15 August. During this game he had many firsts with the Galaxy; his first start, first yellow card and first game as team captain. He also scored his first goal for the team, from a free kick, and also made his first assist, for Landon Donovan
Landon Donovan
Landon Timothy Donovan is an American soccer player for the Los Angeles Galaxy in Major League Soccer in the United States. He usually plays as a withdrawn forward, and can also be used as an attacking midfielder on either wing....

 in the second half. These goals gave the team a 2–0 victory, and a place in the North American SuperLiga
2007 North American SuperLiga
The 2007 SuperLiga, the inaugural edition of the SuperLiga competition, was held from July 24 to August 29, 2007. The eight clubs participating in the 2007 tournament were chosen by invitation....

 final versus Pachuca on 29 August.

During the SuperLiga final against Pachuca, Beckham injured his right knee, with an MRI
Magnetic resonance imaging
Magnetic resonance imaging , nuclear magnetic resonance imaging , or magnetic resonance tomography is a medical imaging technique used in radiology to visualize detailed internal structures...

 scan revealing that he had sprained his medial collateral ligament
Medial collateral ligament
The medial collateral ligament of the knee is one of the four major ligaments of the knee. It is on the medial side of the knee joint in humans and other primates. It is also known as the tibial collateral ligament, or abbreviated as the MCL.- Structure :It is a broad, flat, membranous band,...

 and would be out for six weeks. He returned to play in the final home match of the season. The Galaxy were eliminated from playoff contention on 21 October, in the final MLS match of the season, a 1–0 loss to the Chicago Fire. Beckham played as a substitute in the match, bringing his season totals to eight matches played (5 league); one goal scored (0 league); and three assists (2 league).

Beckham trained with Arsenal
Arsenal F.C.
Arsenal Football Club is a professional English Premier League football club based in North London. One of the most successful clubs in English football, it has won 13 First Division and Premier League titles and 10 FA Cups...

 from 4 January 2008 for three weeks, until he returned to the Galaxy for pre-season training. Beckham scored his first league goal with the Galaxy on 3 April against the San Jose Earthquakes
San Jose Earthquakes
The San Jose Earthquakes professional soccer team is located in the San Jose, California, United States suburb of Santa Clara, and participates in Major League Soccer , the top level soccer league in the United States and Canada....

 in the 9th minute. On 24 May 2008, the Galaxy defeated the Kansas City Wizards
Kansas City Wizards
Sporting Kansas City is an American professional soccer club based in Kansas City, Kansas that competes in Major League Soccer , the top professional soccer league in the United States of America and Canada...

 3–1, giving the Galaxy their first winning record in two years and moving the club into first place in the Western Conference. In the match, Beckham scored an empty-net goal from 70 yards out. The goal marked the second time in Beckham's career that he had scored from his own half, the other being a 1996 goal from the half-way line against Wimbledon
Wimbledon F.C.
Wimbledon Football Club was an English professional association football club from Wimbledon, south-west London. Founded in 1889 as Wimbledon Old Central Football Club, the club spent most of its history in amateur and semi-professional non-League football before being elected to the Football...

 at Selhurst Park
Selhurst Park
Selhurst Park is an English football stadium located in the London suburb of South Norwood in the Borough of Croydon. It is the current home ground of Crystal Palace Football Club. Its present capacity is 26,309.-History:...

. Overall, however, the Galaxy had a disappointing year, failing to qualify for the end-of-season play-offs.

Loan to Milan

In 2008, Beckham's success in the England national team under Fabio Capello
Fabio Capello
Fabio Capello is an Italian football manager and former player. He is the manager of the England national football team.Capello has the distinction of winning the domestic league title with every club he has coached throughout his career...

 led to speculation that he might return to Europe in order to retain match fitness for the World Cup qualifying matches
2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
The qualification competition for the 2010 FIFA World Cup was a series of tournaments organised by the six FIFA confederations. Each confederation — the AFC , CAF , CONCACAF , CONMEBOL , OFC , and UEFA — was allocated a certain number of the 32 places at the tournament...

 in 2009. On 30 October 2008, Milan
A.C. Milan
Associazione Calcio Milan, commonly referred to as A.C. Milan or simply Milan , is a professional Italian football club based in Milan, Lombardy, that plays in the Serie A. Milan was founded in 1899 by English lace-maker Herbert Kilpin and businessman Alfred Edwards among others...

 announced that Beckham was to join them on loan
Loan (football)
In sports, a loan involves a particular player being allowed to temporarily play for a club other than the one he is currently contracted to. Loan deals may last from a few weeks to all season-long....

 from 7 January 2009. Despite this and other speculation, Beckham made it clear that the move in no way signalled his intent to leave MLS and announced his intent to return to the Galaxy in time for the start of the 2009 season
2009 Major League Soccer season
The 2009 Major League Soccer season was the 14th season of Major League Soccer. The season began on March 19 and ended with Real Salt Lake winning the MLS Cup 2009, on November 22 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington-Changes from the 2008 season:...

 in March. Many at Milan both within and outside of the club expressed serious reservations about the transfer, with it considered by some players no more than a marketing move. At Milan, he chose the number 32 shirt previously worn by Christian Vieri
Christian Vieri
Christian Vieri is a retired Italian footballer who played as a centre forward.Vieri was named in the FIFA 100, a list of the 125 greatest living footballers selected by Pelé as a part of FIFA's centenary celebrations...

, as both the number 7 and 23 shirts were already used by Alexandre Pato
Alexandre Pato
Alexandre Rodrigues da Silva , commonly known as Alexandre Pato or simply Pato, is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Italian Serie A club Milan and the Brazilian national team. His nickname, Pato, refers to his place of birth, Pato Branco...

 and club captain Massimo Ambrosini
Massimo Ambrosini
Massimo Ambrosini is an Italian footballer who plays as a midfielder and is the captain of Serie A club Milan. He is well known for his aerial ability and tackling.- Club career :...

, respectively. After his physical, Beckham was reportedly told by a club doctor that he believed he can continue playing football for another five years, when he will be 38.

Beckham made his Serie A debut for Milan against Roma
A.S. Roma
Associazione Sportiva Roma, commonly referred to as simply Roma, is a professional Italian football club based in Rome. Founded by a merger in 1927, Roma have participated in the top-tier of Italian football for all of their existence but one season in the early 50s...

 on 11 January 2009 and played 89 minutes of the 2–2 draw. He scored his first goal in Serie A for Milan in a 4–1 victory over Bologna
Bologna F.C. 1909
Bologna Football Club 1909, known simply as Bologna, is an Italian Football League club based in Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, formed in 1993. The club are nicknamed the rossoblù because of the red and blue striped shirts they wear. Red and Blue are the official colours of the town.During its history...

 on 25 January, his third appearance for the club. Though Beckham was expected to return to L.A. in March, after impressing at the Italian club, scoring two goals in his first four matches and assisting on several more, rumours began to swirl that Beckham would stay in Milan, with the Italian club reportedly offering to pay a multi-million dollar fee for the English legend. The rumours were confirmed on 4 February, when Beckham stated that he was seeking a permanent transfer to Milan, in a bid to sustain his England career through the 2010 World Cup
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

. However, Milan failed to match Galaxy's valuation of Beckham, in the US$10–15 million range.

Still, negotiations continued during a month of speculation. On 2 March, the Los Angeles Times reported that Beckham's loan had been extended through mid-July. This was later confirmed by Beckham, revealing what was described as a unique "timeshare
Timeshare
A timeshare is a form of ownership or right to the use of a property, or the term used to describe such properties. These properties are typically resort condominium units, in which multiple parties hold rights to use the property, and each sharer is allotted a period of time in which they may use...

" deal, in which Beckham would play with L.A. from mid-July till the end of the 2009 MLS season.

Return to Galaxy

After his return from Milan, many LA fans showed dislike and anger towards him as he missed the first half of the season and several held up signs saying "Go home fraud", and "Part time player". However, the Galaxy had a much more successful season
2009 Los Angeles Galaxy season
The 2009 Los Angeles Galaxy season was the fourteenth season of the team's existence. It began on March 22, 2009 with a 2-2 home draw against D.C...

 than in previous years, rising from third to first in the Western Conference during Beckham's time with them. He remained a key part of the squad which saw Galaxy win the 2009 Western Conference final after a 2–0 overtime victory over the Houston Dynamo
Houston Dynamo
The Houston Dynamo is an American professional soccer club, based in Houston, Texas, that plays in Major League Soccer, the top professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. Founded in 2005 as Houston 1836, the team name was renamed to Houston Dynamo following protests from Hispanic...

.
In the final on 22 November 2009, the Galaxy lost to Real Salt Lake
Real Salt Lake
Real Salt Lake is an American professional soccer club based in Sandy, Utah, a suburb of Salt Lake City. The team competes in Major League Soccer , the top professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. They currently play their home games at Rio Tinto Stadium. Real Salt Lake won...

 by 5–4 in a penalty shoot-out after a 1–1 draw. Beckham also scored in the shootout.

Second loan spell at Milan

In November 2009, after the end of 2009 MLS season, it was confirmed that Beckham would return to Milan for a second loan period beginning in January 2010. On 6 January 2010, Beckham made a winning return in a Milan shirt, playing 75 minutes of a 5–2 victory over Genoa
Genoa C.F.C.
Genoa Cricket and Football Club, commonly referred to simply as Genoa , is a professional Italian football club based in the city of Genoa, Liguria...

. On 16 February 2010, Beckham played against Manchester United
Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United Football Club is an English professional football club, based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, that plays in the Premier League. Founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, the club changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to Old Trafford in 1910.The 1958...

 for the first time since he left the club in 2003. He played 76 minutes of the match at the San Siro
San Siro
The Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, originally and commonly referred to as the San Siro because of its location, officially given its current name on 3 March 1980, is a football stadium located in the San Siro district in Milan, Italy. It is the home of both A.C. Milan and F.C. Internazionale Milano...

 – which ended 3–2 to Manchester United – before being substituted for Clarence Seedorf
Clarence Seedorf
Clarence Clyde Seedorf OON is a Dutch footballer who currently plays as an attacking midfielder for Serie A club Milan. Seedorf is the first player to have won the Champions League with three different clubs - Ajax in 1995, Real Madrid in 1998 and Milan in 2003 and 2007...

.

Beckham returned to Old Trafford
Old Trafford
Old Trafford commonly refers to two sporting arenas:* Old Trafford, home of Manchester United F.C.* Old Trafford Cricket Ground, home of Lancashire County Cricket ClubOld Trafford can also refer to:...

 for the second leg of the tie on 10 March 2010; he did not start the match, but was brought on for Ignazio Abate
Ignazio Abate
Ignazio Abate is an Italian professional footballer who plays as a fullback for Serie A club Milan. He is renowned for his quick sprints down the right wing and accurate crosses.- Early years :...

 in the 64th minute to a positive reception from the Manchester United fans. The score was 3–0 for United at that point and the tie was all but decided. The match was the first time Beckham had played against Manchester United at Old Trafford and saw him create several scoring opportunities via crosses and corner kicks, but Manchester United dominated Milan and beat them 4–0, winning the tie 7–2. Following the final whistle, he aroused a bit of controversy by draping the green-and-gold scarf around his neck that was given to him by the Manchester United supporters protesting against club owner Malcolm Glazer
Malcolm Glazer
Malcolm Irving Glazer is an American businessman and sports team owner. He is the president and chief executive officer of First Allied Corporation, a holding company for his varied business interests, most notably in the food processing industry...

. As the fan protests against Glazer by the people gathered around Manchester United Supporters' Trust
Manchester United Supporters' Trust
Manchester United Supporters' Trust is the official supporters' trust of Manchester United F.C., as recognised by Supporters Direct. The group, like other supporters' trusts, seeks to strengthen the influence of supporters over the destiny of their clubs through democratic supporter ownership...

 gained steam in 2010, the green-and-gold scarf had come to be seen as an anti-Glazer symbol, and by extension many saw Beckham's decision to publicly put it on as gesture of support. However, when asked about it later Beckham responded that protests are not his business.

In Milan's next game, against ChievoVerona
A.C. ChievoVerona
Associazione Calcio Chievo Verona is a professional Italian football club named after and based in Chievo, a suburb of 2,800 inhabitants in Verona, Veneto, and owned by Paluani, a cake company and the inspiration for their original name, Paluani Chievo...

, Beckham suffered a torn left Achilles tendon
Achilles tendon rupture
The Achilles tendon is the most commonly injured tendon. Rupture can occur while performing actions requiring explosive acceleration, such as pushing off or jumping...

, causing him to miss the World Cup as well as the MLS season
2010 Major League Soccer season
The 2010 Major League Soccer season was the 98th season of FIFA-sanctioned soccer, the 32nd with a national first-division league, in the United States and Canada, and the 15th in MLS history. It began on March 25 at Seattle's Qwest Field with Seattle Sounders FC defeating the expansion...

 due to the injury, which took him out of action for the next five months. Doctor Sakari Orava
Sakari Orava
Sakari Orava is a Finnish sports medicine surgeon, physician, orthopedist, and professor.Orava has clinics in Turku, Rome and Madrid. He has been dubbed as "Dr. House of sports", and has performed over 20,000 surgeries throughout his career...

 performed surgery on Beckham's tendon in Turku
Turku
Turku is a city situated on the southwest coast of Finland at the mouth of the Aura River. It is located in the region of Finland Proper. It is believed that Turku came into existence during the end of the 13th century which makes it the oldest city in Finland...

, Finland, on 15 March 2010. After the operation, Orava affirmed that "it went quite fine. The prognosis is he needs a rehabilitation for the next few months, and the plaster cast is the next six to eight weeks. I would say that [it will be] maybe four months before he's running, but six months before he's jumping and kicking."

Second return to Galaxy

On 11 September 2010, after recovering from his Achilles tendon injury, Beckham returned to the game as a substitute in the 70th minute in the Galaxy's 3–1 win over Columbus Crew
Columbus Crew
The Columbus Crew is an American professional soccer club based in Columbus, Ohio which competes in Major League Soccer , the top professional soccer league in the United States and Canada...

. On 4 October, Beckham scored a trademark free kick in a 2–1 win over Chivas
C.D. Chivas USA
Club Deportivo Chivas USA is an American professional soccer club based in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, California that competes in Major League Soccer , the top professional soccer league in the United States of America and Canada....

 to mark his first goal in 2010
2010 Major League Soccer season
The 2010 Major League Soccer season was the 98th season of FIFA-sanctioned soccer, the 32nd with a national first-division league, in the United States and Canada, and the 15th in MLS history. It began on March 25 at Seattle's Qwest Field with Seattle Sounders FC defeating the expansion...

. On 24 October, Beckham scored his second goal of the season in the Galaxy's 2–1 win over Dallas
FC Dallas
FC Dallas is an American professional soccer club based in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, Texas which competes in Major League Soccer , the top professional soccer league in the United States of America and Canada...

 which secured them their second successive Western Conference title and first MLS Supporters' Shield
MLS Supporters' Shield
The Supporters' Shield is an annual award given to the Major League Soccer team with the best regular season record, as determined by the MLS points system...

 since 2002
Major League Soccer 2002 season
The 2002 Major League Soccer season was the league's 7th of competition. On January 8, 2002, after only four years in existence, the Miami Fusion F.C. ceased operations due to low attendance and a unfavorable stadium deal, and the Tampa Bay Mutiny also ceased operations due to the lack of local...

.

During January and February 2011, ahead of the 2011 MLS season, Beckham trained with Tottenham Hotspur. Rumours in the media claimed that the club were in talks with the Galaxy to sign the player on loan, but, according to Spurs manager Harry Redknapp
Harry Redknapp
Henry James "Harry" Redknapp is a former English footballer who has enjoyed a long career in football management starting in 1983 with Bournemouth. He is the current manager of Tottenham Hotspur....

, the move was blocked by Galaxy, who wanted a full final season from their number 23. As a result, he ended up only training with the club as he had done with Arsenal three years earlier. With Beckham playing middle field, the Los Angeles Galaxy
Los Angeles Galaxy
The Los Angeles Galaxy are an American professional soccer team, based in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, California, which competes in Major League Soccer , the top professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. It is one of the ten charter clubs of MLS, and the league's second...

 won the 2011 MLS cup.

MLS Cup Champion

On 15 May, Beckham scored his first goal of the season for the Galaxy from a 30-yard free kick, in a 4–1 victory over Sporting Kansas City. On 9 July, Beckham scored directly from a corner in a 2–1 win over Chicago Fire, repeating a feat he also achieved while playing for Preston North End
Preston North End F.C.
Preston North End Football Club is an English professional football club located in the Deepdale area of the city of Preston, Lancashire, currently playing in the third tier of English league football, League One...

.

After having his best season with the Galaxy to date and finishing second in the league in assists, Beckham finished his fifth MLS season on a high. On 20 November 2011, he joined an elite group of players to have won three league titles in three different countries, when Los Angeles won their third MLS Cup
MLS Cup
The MLS Cup is the championship match of Major League Soccer, the highest tier of professional soccer in the United States and Canada. As the final match of the MLS Cup playoffs, the winner is crowned the season champion in the same manner as other North American sports leagues...

 against Houston Dynamo
Houston Dynamo
The Houston Dynamo is an American professional soccer club, based in Houston, Texas, that plays in Major League Soccer, the top professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. Founded in 2005 as Houston 1836, the team name was renamed to Houston Dynamo following protests from Hispanic...

, winning 1-0 on a goal by captain Landon Donovan, with assists from Beckham and fellow designated player, Robbie Keane
Robbie Keane
Robert David "Robbie" Keane is an Irish association football player who plays as a striker for Los Angeles Galaxy in Major League Soccer and captains the Irish national football team....

. If it was Beckham's final match for the Galaxy, it will be the third time he has won a league championship in his final match for a club, repeating the feat he accomplished with Manchester United in 2003 and Real Madrid in 2007.

Following the 2011 season, in which the Galaxy won their second consecutive Supporters' Shield, having the second most points in MLS history, Beckham's five year contract with the Galaxy will expire. Despite being 36, he stated that he intended to play on. He has been heavily linked with French giants, Paris Saint-Germain, but has insisted that he will make the best decision for his family. An extension with the Galaxy is an option, as he has repeatedly stated that his family loves living in Los Angeles. However, after winning MLS Cup, a noticeably emotional Beckham led many to believe that his departure from LA may be imminent.

International career

Beckham made his first appearance for the England national football team
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in association football and is controlled by the Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England is the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside Scotland, whom they played in the world's first...

 on 1 September 1996, in a World Cup
FIFA World Cup
The FIFA World Cup, often simply the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association , the sport's global governing body...

 qualifying match against Moldova
Moldova national football team
The Moldova national football team represents Moldova in association football and is controlled by the Football Association of Moldova, the governing body for football in Moldova. Moldova's home ground is Zimbru Stadium in Chişinău and their head coach is Gavril Balint...

.

Beckham had played in all of England's qualifying matches for the 1998 World Cup
1998 FIFA World Cup
The 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 16th FIFA World Cup, was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998. France was chosen as host nation by FIFA on 2 July 1992. The tournament was won by France, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the final...

 and was part of the England squad at the World Cup finals in France, but the team's manager Glenn Hoddle
Glenn Hoddle
Glenn Hoddle is an English former footballer and manager who played as an attacking midfielder for Tottenham Hotspur, AS Monaco, Chelsea and Swindon Town and at international level for England....

 publicly accused him of not concentrating on the tournament, and he did not start in either of England's first two matches. He was picked for their third match against Colombia
Colombia national football team
The Colombian national football team represents Colombia in international football competitions and is controlled by the Colombian Football Federation. It is a member of the CONMEBOL...

 and scored from a long-range free kick
Direct free kick
A direct free kick is a method of restarting play in a game of association football following a foul. Unlike an indirect free kick, a goal may be scored directly against the opposing side without the ball having first touched another player.-Award:...

 in a 2–0 victory, which was his first goal for England.

In the second round (last 16) of that competition, he received a red card
Misconduct (football)
Misconduct in association football is any conduct by a player that is deemed by the referee to warrant a disciplinary sanction in accordance with Law 12 of the Laws of the Game. Misconduct may occur at any time, including when the ball is out of play, during half-time and before and after the...

 in England's match against Argentina
Argentina national football team
The Argentina national football team represents Argentina in association football and is controlled by the Argentine Football Association , the governing body for football in Argentina. Argentina's home stadium is Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti and their head coach is Alejandro...

. Beckham, after having been fouled by Diego Simeone, kicked Simeone whilst lying on the floor, striking him on the calf muscle. Simeone later admitted to trying to get Beckham sent off by over-reacting to the kick and then, along with other members of his team, urging the referee to send Beckham off. The match finished in a draw and England were eliminated in a penalty shootout. Many supporters and journalists blamed him for England's elimination and he became the target of criticism and abuse, including the hanging of an effigy
Effigy
An effigy is a representation of a person, especially in the form of sculpture or some other three-dimensional form.The term is usually associated with full-length figures of a deceased person depicted in stone or wood on church monuments. These most often lie supine with hands together in prayer,...

 outside a London pub
Public house
A public house, informally known as a pub, is a drinking establishment fundamental to the culture of Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. There are approximately 53,500 public houses in the United Kingdom. This number has been declining every year, so that nearly half of the smaller...

, and the Daily Mirror printing a dartboard
Darts
Darts is a form of throwing game where darts are thrown at a circular target fixed to a wall. Though various boards and games have been used in the past, the term "darts" usually now refers to a standardised game involving a specific board design and set of rules...

 with a picture of him centred on the bullseye. Beckham also received death threats after the World Cup.

The abuse that Beckham was receiving from English supporters peaked during England's 3–2 defeat by Portugal
Portugal national football team
The Portugal national football team represents Portugal in association football and is controlled by the Portuguese Football Federation, the governing body for football in Portugal. Portugal's home ground is Estádio Nacional in Oeiras, and their head coach is Paulo Bento...

 in Euro 2000, a match where Beckham set up two goals, when a group of England supporters taunted him throughout the match. Beckham responded by raising his middle finger
Finger (gesture)
In Western culture, the finger , also known as the middle finger, is an obscene hand gesture, often meaning the phrases "fuck off" , "fuck you" or "up yours"...

 and, while the gesture attracted some criticism, many of the newspapers that had previously encouraged his vilification asked their readers to stop abusing him.

On 15 November 2000, following Kevin Keegan
Kevin Keegan
Joseph Kevin Keegan, OBE is a former international footballer and former manager of the England national football team and several English clubs, most notably Newcastle United....

's resignation as England manager in October, Beckham was promoted to team captain by the caretaker manager Peter Taylor, and then kept the role under new manager Sven-Göran Eriksson
Sven-Göran Eriksson
Sven-Göran Eriksson , in Sweden commonly referred to just by his nickname Svennis, is a Swedish ex-football manager. From October 2010 to October 2011 he managed Football League Championship side Leicester City....

. He helped England to qualify for the 2002 World Cup
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

 Finals, with their performances including an impressive 5–1 victory over Germany
Germany national football team
The Germany national football team is the football team that has represented Germany in international competition since 1908. It is governed by the German Football Association , which was founded in 1900....

 in Munich. The final step in Beckham's conversion from villain to hero happened in England's 2–2 draw against Greece
Greece national football team
The Greece national football team represents Greece in association football and is controlled by the Hellenic Football Federation, the governing body for football in Greece. Greece's home ground is Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus and their head coach is Fernando Santos...

 on 6 October 2001. England needed to win or draw the match in order to qualify outright for the World Cup, but were losing 2–1 with little time remaining. When Teddy Sheringham
Teddy Sheringham
Edward Paul "Teddy" Sheringham MBE is a retired English footballer, and the father of footballer Charlie Sheringham. Sheringham played as a striker, and had a successful career at the club level, winning almost every domestic honour available with his clubs, most notably the Treble with Manchester...

 was fouled eight yards (7 metres) outside the Greek penalty area, England were awarded a free-kick and Beckham ensured England's qualification with a curling strike of the kind that had become his trademark. Shortly afterwards, he was voted the BBC Sports Personality of the Year
BBC Sports Personality of the Year
The BBC Sports Personality of the Year is an awards ceremony that takes place annually in December. Devised by Paul Fox in 1954, it originally consisted of one titular award. Several new awards have been introduced, and , eight awards are presented. The oldest of these are the Team of the Year and...

 for 2001. He once again finished runner-up, to Luís Figo
Luís Figo
Luís Filipe Madeira Caeiro Figo, OIH, is a Portuguese former international footballer. He played as a midfielder for Sporting CP, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Internazionale, during a career which spanned over a period of 20 years. He retired from football on 31 May 2009...

 of Portugal, for the FIFA World Player of the Year
FIFA World Player of the Year
The FIFA World Player of the Year was an association football award given annually to the male and female player who were thought to be the best in the world, based on votes by coaches and captains of international teams...

 award.

Beckham was partially fit by the time of the 2002 World Cup
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

 and played in the first match against Sweden
Sweden national football team
The Swedish national football team represents Sweden in association football and is controlled by the Swedish Football Association, the governing body for Football in Sweden. Sweden's home ground is Råsunda Stadium in Stockholms län and their head coach is Erik Hamrén. Sweden made their first...

. Beckham scored the winning goal of the match against Argentina with a penalty, causing Argentina to fail to qualify for the knockout stage. England were knocked out of the tournament in the quarter-finals by eventual winners Brazil
Brazil national football team
The Brazil national football team represents Brazil in international men's football and is controlled by the Brazilian Football Confederation , the governing body for football in Brazil. They are a member of the International Federation of Association Football since 1923 and also a member of the...

. The following month, at the opening ceremony of the 2002 Commonwealth Games
2002 Commonwealth Games
The 2002 Commonwealth Games were held in Manchester, England from 25 July to 4 August 2002. The XVII Commonwealth Games was the largest multi-sport event ever to be held in the UK, eclipsing London's 1948 Summer Olympics in numbers of teams and athletes participating.After the 1996 Manchester...

 in Manchester, Beckham escorted Kirsty Howard
Kirsty Howard
Kirsty Howard is a 16-year-old British girl, most notable for her charity work.Kirsty is the figurehead of Kirsty's Appeal, a charitable foundation in her name, created to raise £5 million for Francis House, the hospice where she receives care. In October 2006, the appeal announced that it has...

 as she presented the Jubilee Baton to the Queen
Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II
The Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II was the international celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the accession of Elizabeth II to the thrones of seven countries, upon the death of her father, George VI, on 6 February 1952, and was intended by the Queen to be both a commemoration of her 50...

.

Beckham played in all of England's matches at Euro 2004, but the tournament was a disappointment for him. He had a penalty saved in England's 2–1 defeat to France and missed another in a penalty shootout
Penalty shootout (football)
A penalty shoot-out, referred to as kicks from the penalty mark in the Laws of the Game, is the FIFA official term for a method used in association football to decide which team progresses to the next stage of a tournament following a tied game...

 in the quarter-final match against Portugal
Portugal national football team
The Portugal national football team represents Portugal in association football and is controlled by the Portuguese Football Federation, the governing body for football in Portugal. Portugal's home ground is Estádio Nacional in Oeiras, and their head coach is Paulo Bento...

. England lost the shootout thus going out of the competition.

Beckham became a UNICEF
United Nations Children's Fund
United Nations Children's Fund was created by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 1946, to provide emergency food and healthcare to children in countries that had been devastated by World War II...

 Goodwill Ambassador in January 2005 and was involved in promoting London's successful bid for the 2012 Olympic Games
2012 Summer Olympics
The 2012 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the "London 2012 Olympic Games", are scheduled to take place in London, England, United Kingdom from 27 July to 12 August 2012...

. In October 2005, Beckham's sending off against Austria
Austria national football team
The Austria national football team is the association football team that represents the country of Austria in international competition and is controlled by the Austrian Football Association ....

 made him the first ever England captain to be sent off and the first player to be sent off twice while playing for England. He captained England for the 50th time in a friendly international against Argentina the following month.

In England's opening game at the 2006 World Cup
2006 FIFA World Cup
The 2006 FIFA World Cup was the 18th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 9 June to 9 July 2006 in Germany, which won the right to host the event in July 2000. Teams representing 198 national football associations from all six...

, against Paraguay
Paraguay national football team
The Paraguay national football team is controlled by the Paraguayan Football Association and represents Paraguay in men's international football competitions. The team has reached the second round of the World Cup on four occasions . The 2010 trip also featured their first appearance in the...

 on 10 June 2006, Beckham's free kick led to an own-goal by Carlos Gamarra
Carlos Gamarra
Carlos Alberto Gamarra Pavón is a former football player. He captained the Paraguay national team at international level, playing at Centre back, and is the most capped player in Paraguayan football history, having made 110 international appearances and scoring 12 goals.Gamarra is known for his...

 as England won 1–0. In England's next match, played against Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago national football team
The Trinidad and Tobago national football team, nicknamed The Soca Warriors, is the national team of Trinidad and Tobago and is run by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation. It reached the first round of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Finals...

 on 15 June 2006, Beckham's cross in the 83rd minute led to a Peter Crouch
Peter Crouch
Peter James Crouch is an English footballer who plays as a striker for Premier League club Stoke City and the England national team.Crouch started his career as a trainee with Tottenham Hotspur...

 goal, which put England into the lead 1–0. Beckham gave another assist to Steven Gerrard
Steven Gerrard
Steven George Gerrard MBE is an English footballer who plays for and captains Premier League club Liverpool. He also has 89 caps for the England national team. He has played much of his career in a centre midfielder role, but he has also been used as a second striker and right winger...

. In the end they won 2–0. He was named Man of the Match
Man of the match
In sport, a Man of the Match or Player of the Game or Man of the Series award is given to the outstanding player, almost always the one who makes the most impact, in a particular match or series. The term was originally used more often in cricket before being adopted by other sports. This can be a...

 by tournament sponsor Budweiser
Budweiser (Anheuser-Busch)
Budweiser is a 5.0% abv American-style lager introduced in 1876 by Adolphus Busch and one of the highest selling beers in the United States. It is made with up to 30% rice in addition to hops and barley malt. Budweiser is produced in various breweries located around the world...

 for this game.

During England's second round match against Ecuador
Ecuador national football team
The Ecuadorian national football team represents Ecuador in international football competitions and is controlled by the Ecuadorian Football Federation. They generally play official home matches at Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa in Quito, but often play friendlies in other stadiums around the country...

, Beckham scored from a free kick in the 59th minute, becoming the first ever English player to score in three separate World Cups, and giving England a 1–0 victory and a place in the quarter-finals. He was sick before the game and vomited several times as a result of dehydration
Dehydration
In physiology and medicine, dehydration is defined as the excessive loss of body fluid. It is literally the removal of water from an object; however, in physiological terms, it entails a deficiency of fluid within an organism...

 and illness after he scored the winning goal.

In the quarter-final against Portugal, Beckham was substituted following an injury shortly after half time and the England team went on to lose the match on penalties (3–1), the score having been 0–0 after extra time. After his substitution, Beckham was visibly shaken and emotional for not being able to play, being in tears at one point.

A day after England were knocked out of the World Cup, an emotional Beckham made a statement in a news conference saying that he had stepped down as England captain, saying, "It has been an honour and privilege to captain my country but, having been captain for 58 of my 95 games, I feel the time is right to pass on the armband as we enter a new era under Steve McClaren
Steve McClaren
Stephen "Steve" McClaren is an English football manager and former player.McClaren was previously manager of VfL Wolfsburg in Germany between May 2010 and February 2011, having left his post at Dutch side FC Twente, with whom he won the club's first Eredivisie championship in the 2009–10 season...

."
(Beckham had actually won 94 caps
Cap (sport)
In sports, a cap is a metaphorical term for a player's appearance on a select team, such as a national team. The term dates from the practice in the United Kingdom of awarding a cap to every player in an international match of association football...

 up to that point.) He was succeeded by Chelsea
Chelsea F.C.
Chelsea Football Club are an English football club based in West London. Founded in 1905, they play in the Premier League and have spent most of their history in the top tier of English football. Chelsea have been English champions four times, FA Cup winners six times and League Cup winners four...

 captain John Terry
John Terry
John George Terry is an English professional footballer. Terry plays in a centre back position and is the captain of Chelsea in the Premier League...

.

Having stepped down as captain after the World Cup, Beckham was dropped completely from the England national team selected by new coach Steve McClaren
Steve McClaren
Stephen "Steve" McClaren is an English football manager and former player.McClaren was previously manager of VfL Wolfsburg in Germany between May 2010 and February 2011, having left his post at Dutch side FC Twente, with whom he won the club's first Eredivisie championship in the 2009–10 season...

 on 11 August 2006. McClaren claimed that he was "looking to go in a different direction" with the team, and that Beckham "wasn't included within that." McClaren said Beckham could be recalled in future. Shaun Wright-Phillips
Shaun Wright-Phillips
Shaun Cameron Wright-Phillips is an English footballer who plays for Queens Park Rangers and the England national team. He is the adopted son of former England international, Ian Wright and the half-brother of fellow professional football player Bradley Wright-Phillips...

, Kieran Richardson
Kieran Richardson
Kieran Edward Richardson is an English footballer currently playing for Sunderland. He is naturally a left winger, but has proven to a extremely versatile; having also played as a left back, right winger, central midfielder and recently as a support striker...

, and the World Cup alternative to Beckham, Aaron Lennon
Aaron Lennon
Aaron Justin Lennon is an English footballer who plays as a right winger for Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League and the England national team.-Early life:...

, were all included, although McClaren eventually opted to employ Steven Gerrard
Steven Gerrard
Steven George Gerrard MBE is an English footballer who plays for and captains Premier League club Liverpool. He also has 89 caps for the England national team. He has played much of his career in a centre midfielder role, but he has also been used as a second striker and right winger...

 in that role.

On 26 May 2007, McClaren announced that Beckham would be recalled to the England squad for the first time since stepping down as their captain. Beckham started against Brazil
Brazil national football team
The Brazil national football team represents Brazil in international men's football and is controlled by the Brazilian Football Confederation , the governing body for football in Brazil. They are a member of the International Federation of Association Football since 1923 and also a member of the...

 in England's first match at the new Wembley Stadium
Wembley Stadium
The original Wembley Stadium, officially known as the Empire Stadium, was a football stadium in Wembley, a suburb of north-west London, standing on the site now occupied by the new Wembley Stadium that opened in 2007...

 and put in a positive performance. In the second half, he set up England's goal converted by captain John Terry
John Terry
John George Terry is an English professional footballer. Terry plays in a centre back position and is the captain of Chelsea in the Premier League...

. It looked as though England would claim victory over Brazil, but newcomer Diego
Diego Ribas da Cunha
Diego Ribas da Cunha , commonly known as just Diego, is an international Brazilian footballer who plays for Atlético Madrid on loan from VfL Wolfsburg, as an attacking midfielder.-Santos:...

 equalised in the dying seconds. In England's next match, a Euro 2008 qualifier against Estonia
Estonia national football team
The Estonia national football team represents Estonia in international association football. Team members are selected by the head coach of Estonian Football Association . Estonia play their home matches at the A. Le Coq Arena in Tallinn, Estonia....

, Beckham sent two trademark assists for Michael Owen
Michael Owen
Michael James Owen is an English professional footballer who plays as a striker for Manchester United.The son of former footballer Terry Owen, Owen began his senior career at Liverpool in 1996. He progressed through the Liverpool youth team and scored on his debut in May 1997...

 and Peter Crouch
Peter Crouch
Peter James Crouch is an English footballer who plays as a striker for Premier League club Stoke City and the England national team.Crouch started his career as a trainee with Tottenham Hotspur...

, helping England to prevail 3–0.

Beckham had assisted in three of England's four total goals in those two games, and he stated his desire to continue to play for England after his move to Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer is a professional soccer league based in the United States and sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation . The league is composed of 19 teams — 16 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada...

.

On 22 August 2007, Beckham played in a friendly for England against Germany
Germany national football team
The Germany national football team is the football team that has represented Germany in international competition since 1908. It is governed by the German Football Association , which was founded in 1900....

, becoming the first ever to play for England while with a non-European club team. On 21 November 2007, Beckham earned his 99th cap against Croatia
Croatia national football team
The Croatia national football team represents Croatia in international football. The team is controlled by the Croatian Football Federation, the governing body for football in the country, and has been managed since 2006 by former player Slaven Bilić...

, setting up a goal for Peter Crouch to tie the game at 2–2. Following the 2–3 loss, England failed to qualify for the Euro 2008 Finals. Despite this, Beckham said that he has no plans to retire from international football and wanted to continue playing for the national team. After being passed over by new England coach and Beckham's former manager at Real Madrid
Real Madrid C.F.
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol , commonly known as Real Madrid, is a professional football club based in Madrid, Spain. The club have won a record 31 La Liga titles, the Primera División of the Liga de Fútbol Profesional , 18 Copas del Rey, 8 Spanish Super Cups, 1 Copa Eva Duarte and 1 Copa de la...

, Fabio Capello
Fabio Capello
Fabio Capello is an Italian football manager and former player. He is the manager of the England national football team.Capello has the distinction of winning the domestic league title with every club he has coached throughout his career...

, for a friendly against Switzerland
Switzerland national football team
The Swiss national football team is the national football team of Switzerland...

 which would have given him his hundredth cap; Beckham admitted that he was not in shape at the time, as he had not played a competitive match in three months.

On 20 March 2008, Beckham was recalled to the England squad by Capello for the friendly against France
France national football team
The France national football team represents the nation of France in international football. It is fielded by the French Football Federation , the governing body of football in France, and competes as a member of UEFA, which encompasses the countries of Europe...

 in Paris on 26 March. Beckham became only the fifth Englishman to win 100 caps. Capello had hinted on 25 March 2008 that Beckham had a long term future in his side ahead of crucial qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

. On 11 May 2008, Capello included an in-form Beckham in his 31 man England squad to face the United States
United States men's national soccer team
The United States men's national soccer team represents the United States in international association football competitions. It is controlled by the United States Soccer Federation and competes in CONCACAF...

 at Wembley Stadium
Wembley Stadium
The original Wembley Stadium, officially known as the Empire Stadium, was a football stadium in Wembley, a suburb of north-west London, standing on the site now occupied by the new Wembley Stadium that opened in 2007...

 on 28 May before the away fixture with Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago national football team
The Trinidad and Tobago national football team, nicknamed The Soca Warriors, is the national team of Trinidad and Tobago and is run by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation. It reached the first round of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Finals...

 on 1 June. Beckham was honoured before the match by receiving an honorary gold cap representing his 100th cap from Bobby Charlton
Bobby Charlton
Sir Robert "Bobby" Charlton CBE is an English former professional football player, a member of the England team who won the World Cup and Ballon d'Or for European Footballer of the Year in 1966...

, and was given a standing ovation from the crowd. He played well and assisted John Terry on the match-winning goal. When substituted at half-time for David Bentley
David Bentley
David Michael Bentley is an English footballer who plays for West Ham United as a winger, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur....

, the pro-Beckham crowd booed the decision. In a surprise move, Capello handed Beckham the captaincy for England's friendly against Trinidad and Tobago on 1 June 2008. The match was the first time since the 2006 World Cup that Beckham had skippered England and marked a dramatic turnaround for Beckham. In two years, he had gone from being dropped completely from the England squad to being reinstated (though temporarily) as England captain.

During the 2010 World Cup Qualifier against Belarus
Belarus national football team
The Belarus national football team represents Belarus in association football and is controlled by the Football Federation of Belarus, the governing body for football in Belarus. Belarus' home ground is Dinamo Stadium in Minsk...

 in which England won 3–1 in Minsk
Minsk
- Ecological situation :The ecological situation is monitored by Republican Center of Radioactive and Environmental Control .During 2003–2008 the overall weight of contaminants increased from 186,000 to 247,400 tons. The change of gas as industrial fuel to mazut for financial reasons has worsened...

, Beckham came off the bench in the 87th minute to earn his 107th cap making him England's 3rd highest capped
Cap (sport)
In sports, a cap is a metaphorical term for a player's appearance on a select team, such as a national team. The term dates from the practice in the United Kingdom of awarding a cap to every player in an international match of association football...

 player in history, over-taking Bobby Charlton in the process. On 11 February 2009, Beckham drew level with Bobby Moore
Bobby Moore
Robert Frederick Chelsea "Bobby" Moore, OBE was an English footballer. He captained West Ham United for more than ten years and was captain of the England team that won the 1966 World Cup...

's record of 108 caps for an English outfield player, coming on as a substitute for Stewart Downing
Stewart Downing
Stewart Downing is an English footballer who plays for Liverpool and the England national team. Primarily a winger, Downing has previously played for Aston Villa, Middlesbrough and Sunderland.-Middlesbrough:...

 in a friendly match against Spain
Spain national football team
The Spain national football team represents Spain in international association football and is controlled by the Royal Spanish Football Federation, the governing body for football in Spain. The current head coach is Vicente del Bosque...

. On 28 March 2009, Beckham surpassed Moore to hold the record outright when he came on as a substitute in a friendly against Slovakia
Slovakia national football team
The Slovakia national football team represents Slovakia in association football and is controlled by the Slovak Football Association , the governing body for football in Slovakia. Slovakia's home stadium is Štadión Pasienky and their head coach is Vladimír Weiss...

, providing the assist for a goal from Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney
Wayne Mark Rooney is an English footballer who plays as a striker for Premier League club Manchester United and the England national team...

 in the process.

In all, Beckham had made 16 appearances out of a possible 20 for England under Capello until his ruptured Achilles tendon of March 2010 ruled him out of selection for the 2010 FIFA World Cup
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

 in South Africa. His last game for England before injury had been on 14 October 2009 as a substitute in England's last World Cup qualifying game, which ended England 3 – 0 Belarus. While unable to play, Beckham still went to the tournament as part of the England back-room staff, acting as a mediator between management and the players.

After a poor performance from England at the World Cup Capello remained as manager, but was under pressure to revamp the England squad for the imminent UEFA Euro 2012 qualification campaign
UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying Group G
This page shows the standings and results for Group G of the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying tournament.- Standings :- Results and fixtures :A meeting was held in Zürich, Switzerland, on 15 March to determine the Group G fixture schedule...

. He unveiled a new team at the next England match, a home friendly game against Hungary on 11 August 2010, with Beckham still unavailable for selection but aiming for a return to playing in the MLS by the following month. In the post-match interview, Capello said of the prospect of the now 35-year-old Beckham playing any future competitive matches for England, that "I need to change it. David is a fantastic player but I think we need new players for the future", referring to the new players that play in Beckham's right midfield position, including Theo Walcott
Theo Walcott
Theo James Walcott is an English footballer of Jamaican descent who plays for Arsenal and the England national team. Walcott is a product of the Southampton F.C. Academy. He is a striker who is usually deployed on the right wing as a wide forward to exploit his speed...

 and Adam Johnson, adding "This is the future of the team under Fabio Capello or another manager". He said that Beckham may be selected for one last friendly game, stating, "If he is fit, I hope we will play one more game here at Wembley so the fans can say goodbye". In response to the comments, Beckham's agent released a statement reiterating Beckham's position that he had no desire to retire from international football, and would always be make himself available for selection for England if fit and if needed.

International goals

As of 28 October 2009
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition Reports
1. 26 June 1998 Stade Félix Bollaert
Stade Félix Bollaert
Stade Félix Bollaert is the main football stadium in Lens, France, that was built in 1932. It is the home of RC Lens. The stadium's capacity is 41,233 – about 4,000 more than the city's population. This is similar to that of SC Heerenveen ground the Abe Lenstra Stadion which has a bigger capacity...

, Lens
Lens, Pas-de-Calais
Lens is a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in northern France. It is one of France's large Picarde cities along with Lille, Valenciennes, Amiens, Roubaix, Tourcoing, Arras, and Douai.-Metropolitan area:...

 
2–0 2–0 1998 FIFA World Cup
1998 FIFA World Cup
The 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 16th FIFA World Cup, was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998. France was chosen as host nation by FIFA on 2 July 1992. The tournament was won by France, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the final...

 
2. 24 March 2001 Anfield
Anfield
Anfield is an association football stadium in the district of Anfield, Liverpool, England, with a seating capacity of 45,522. It has been the home of Liverpool F.C. since their formation in 1892 and was originally the home of Everton F.C. from 1884 to 1892, before they moved to Goodison Park...

, Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

 
2–1 2–1 2002 FIFA World Cup Qual. 
3. 25 May 2001 Pride Park
Pride Park Stadium
Pride Park Stadium is an all-seater football stadium located on the Pride Park business park on the outskirts of Derby, England. It is the current home of Football League Championship club Derby County, who moved to the stadium from the Baseball Ground upon its opening in 1997...

, Derby
Derby
Derby , is a city and unitary authority in the East Midlands region of England. It lies upon the banks of the River Derwent and is located in the south of the ceremonial county of Derbyshire. In the 2001 census, the population of the city was 233,700, whilst that of the Derby Urban Area was 229,407...

 
3–0 4–0 Friendly match
Exhibition game
An exhibition game is a sporting event in which there is no competitive value of any significant kind to any competitor regardless of the outcome of the competition...

 
4. 6 June 2001 Olympic Stadium
Olympic Stadium (Athens)
The Olympic Stadium "Spiros Louis" , is part of the Athens Olympic Sports Complex. It is named after the first modern Olympic marathon race winner in 1896, Spiros Louis.-History:...

, Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

 
2–0 2–0 2002 FIFA World Cup Qual. 
5. 6 October 2001 Old Trafford
Old Trafford
Old Trafford commonly refers to two sporting arenas:* Old Trafford, home of Manchester United F.C.* Old Trafford Cricket Ground, home of Lancashire County Cricket ClubOld Trafford can also refer to:...

, Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

 
2–2 2–2 2002 FIFA World Cup Qual. 
6. 10 November 2001 Old Trafford
Old Trafford
Old Trafford commonly refers to two sporting arenas:* Old Trafford, home of Manchester United F.C.* Old Trafford Cricket Ground, home of Lancashire County Cricket ClubOld Trafford can also refer to:...

, Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

 
1–0 1–1 Friendly match
Exhibition game
An exhibition game is a sporting event in which there is no competitive value of any significant kind to any competitor regardless of the outcome of the competition...

 
7. 7 June 2002 Sapporo Dome
Sapporo Dome
The is a stadium located in Toyohira-ku, Sapporo, Japan, and is primarily used for baseball and football. It is the home field of the baseball team Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters and the football club Consadole Sapporo.-History:...

, Sapporo
1–0 1–0 2002 FIFA World Cup
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0...

 
8. 12 October 2002 Tehelné pole
Tehelné pole
-External links:*...

, Bratislava
Bratislava
Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and, with a population of about 431,000, also the country's largest city. Bratislava is in southwestern Slovakia on both banks of the Danube River. Bordering Austria and Hungary, it is the only national capital that borders two independent countries.Bratislava...

 
1–1 2–1 UEFA Euro 2004 Qual. 
9. 16 October 2002 St Mary's Stadium
St Mary's Stadium
St Mary's Stadium is the home of Southampton F.C., in the city of Southampton. It is a UEFA 4-star rated stadium and with a capacity of 32,689 is the largest football stadium in the south of England, outside of London.-History:...

, Southampton
Southampton
Southampton is the largest city in the county of Hampshire on the south coast of England, and is situated south-west of London and north-west of Portsmouth. Southampton is a major port and the closest city to the New Forest...

 
1–1 2–2 UEFA Euro 2004 Qual. 
10. 29 March 2003 Rheinpark Stadion
Rheinpark Stadion
The Rheinpark Stadion in Vaduz is the national stadium of Liechtenstein. It plays host to the home matches of the Liechtenstein national football team, and is also the home of Liechtenstein's top football club, FC Vaduz....

, Vaduz
Vaduz
Vaduz is the capital of the principality of Liechtenstein and the seat of the national parliament. The town, located along the Rhine, has about 5,100 inhabitants , most of whom are Roman Catholic. Its cathedral is the seat of a Roman Catholic archbishop....

 
2–0 2–0 UEFA Euro 2004 Qual. 
11. 2 April 2003 Stadium of Light
Stadium of Light
The Stadium of Light is an all-seater football stadium in Sunderland, England. With space for 49,000 spectators, the Stadium of Light has the fifth-largest capacity of any English football stadium. The stadium primarily hosts Sunderland A.F.C. matches...

, Sunderland 
2–0 2–0 UEFA Euro 2004 Qual. 
12. 20 August 2003 Portman Road
Portman Road
Portman Road is an association football stadium in Ipswich, Suffolk, England. It has been the home ground of Ipswich Town F.C. since 1884. The stadium has also hosted a number of England youth international matches, and one senior England friendly international match, against Croatia in 2003...

, Ipswich
Ipswich
Ipswich is a large town and a non-metropolitan district. It is the county town of Suffolk, England. Ipswich is located on the estuary of the River Orwell...

 
1–0 3–1 Friendly match
Exhibition game
An exhibition game is a sporting event in which there is no competitive value of any significant kind to any competitor regardless of the outcome of the competition...

 
13. 6 September 2003 Gradski, Skopje
Skopje
Skopje is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Macedonia with about a third of the total population. It is the country's political, cultural, economic, and academic centre...

 
2–1 2–1 UEFA Euro 2004 Qual. 
14. 18 August 2004 St James' Park
St James' Park
St James' Park, known for sponsorship reasons as the Sports Direct Arena, is an all-seater stadium in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It is the home of Newcastle United Football Club and is the sixth largest football stadium in the United Kingdom with a capacity of between 52,387 and 52,409.St James'...

, Newcastle
Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne is a city and metropolitan borough of Tyne and Wear, in North East England. Historically a part of Northumberland, it is situated on the north bank of the River Tyne...

 
1–0 3–0 Friendly match
Exhibition game
An exhibition game is a sporting event in which there is no competitive value of any significant kind to any competitor regardless of the outcome of the competition...

 
15. 9 October 2004 Old Trafford
Old Trafford
Old Trafford commonly refers to two sporting arenas:* Old Trafford, home of Manchester United F.C.* Old Trafford Cricket Ground, home of Lancashire County Cricket ClubOld Trafford can also refer to:...

, Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

2–0 2–0 2006 FIFA World Cup Qual.
2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
A total of 197 teams entered the qualification process for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, competing for a total of 32 spots in the final tournament. Germany, as the host, qualified automatically, leaving 31 spots open for competition...

 
16. 30 March 2005 St James' Park
St James' Park
St James' Park, known for sponsorship reasons as the Sports Direct Arena, is an all-seater stadium in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It is the home of Newcastle United Football Club and is the sixth largest football stadium in the United Kingdom with a capacity of between 52,387 and 52,409.St James'...

, Newcastle
Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne is a city and metropolitan borough of Tyne and Wear, in North East England. Historically a part of Northumberland, it is situated on the north bank of the River Tyne...

2–0 2–0 2006 FIFA World Cup Qual.
2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
A total of 197 teams entered the qualification process for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, competing for a total of 32 spots in the final tournament. Germany, as the host, qualified automatically, leaving 31 spots open for competition...

 
17. 25 June 2006 Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion, Stuttgart
Stuttgart
Stuttgart is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. The sixth-largest city in Germany, Stuttgart has a population of 600,038 while the metropolitan area has a population of 5.3 million ....

 
1–0 1–0 2006 FIFA World Cup
2006 FIFA World Cup
The 2006 FIFA World Cup was the 18th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 9 June to 9 July 2006 in Germany, which won the right to host the event in July 2000. Teams representing 198 national football associations from all six...

 

Coaching career

Due to an injury suffered to his torn left Achilles tendon
Achilles tendon rupture
The Achilles tendon is the most commonly injured tendon. Rupture can occur while performing actions requiring explosive acceleration, such as pushing off or jumping...

, Beckham was forced to miss the 2010 FIFA World Cup
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010...

 as a player. On 14 May 2010 it was announced that Beckham would work as a mediator between management and the players, and as an English member of the coaching staff for the England national football team
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in association football and is controlled by the Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England is the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside Scotland, whom they played in the world's first...

 at the tournament.
As an agreement between Beckham, his representatives, his club, Los Angeles Galaxy
Los Angeles Galaxy
The Los Angeles Galaxy are an American professional soccer team, based in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, California, which competes in Major League Soccer , the top professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. It is one of the ten charter clubs of MLS, and the league's second...

 and Fabio Capello, the former England captain was on the plane to South Africa on 2 June.

Discipline

Former manager Alex Ferguson
Alex Ferguson
Sir Alexander Chapman "Alex" Ferguson, CBE is a Scottish association football manager and former player, currently managing Manchester United, where he has been in charge since 1986...

 said that he "practised with a discipline to achieve an accuracy that other players wouldn't care about." He maintained his training routine at Real Madrid
Real Madrid C.F.
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol , commonly known as Real Madrid, is a professional football club based in Madrid, Spain. The club have won a record 31 La Liga titles, the Primera División of the Liga de Fútbol Profesional , 18 Copas del Rey, 8 Spanish Super Cups, 1 Copa Eva Duarte and 1 Copa de la...

 and even when his relationship with management was strained in early 2007, Real Madrid president Ramón Calderón
Ramón Calderón
José Ramón Calderón Ramos is a lawyer and an ex-President of Spanish sports club Real Madrid.-Life and career:...

 and manager Fabio Capello
Fabio Capello
Fabio Capello is an Italian football manager and former player. He is the manager of the England national football team.Capello has the distinction of winning the domestic league title with every club he has coached throughout his career...

 praised Beckham for maintaining his professionalism and commitment to the club.

Beckham was the first England player ever to collect two red cards and the first England captain to be sent off. Beckham's most notorious red card was during the 1998 FIFA World Cup
1998 FIFA World Cup
The 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 16th FIFA World Cup, was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998. France was chosen as host nation by FIFA on 2 July 1992. The tournament was won by France, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the final...

 after Argentina's Diego Simeone had fouled him, Beckham lashed out with his leg and the Argentine fell.

He amassed 41 yellow cards and four red cards for Real Madrid.

Club

Manchester United
  • Premier League (6): 1995–96, 1996–97, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2002–03
  • FA Cup
    FA Cup
    The Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the FA Cup, is a knockout cup competition in English football and is the oldest association football competition in the world. The "FA Cup" is run by and named after The Football Association and usually refers to the English men's...

     (2): 1995–96
    1996 FA Cup Final
    The 1996 FA Cup Final was the 51st to be held at Wembley Stadium after the Second World War and was held between two of the biggest rivals in English football, Manchester United and Liverpool.- Build-up :...

    , 1998–99
    1999 FA Cup Final
    The 1999 FA Cup Final took place on 22 May 1999 and was played at the old Wembley Stadium. It was contested between Manchester United and Newcastle United. Manchester United had finished as champions and Newcastle 13th in the Premier League that season. The Final was a one-sided affair, Manchester...

  • UEFA Champions League
    UEFA Champions League
    The UEFA Champions League, known simply the Champions League and originally known as the European Champion Clubs' Cup or European Cup, is an annual international club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations since 1955 for the top football clubs in Europe. It...

     (1): 1998–99
    1999 UEFA Champions League Final
    The 1999 UEFA Champions League Final was a football match that took place on Wednesday, 26 May 1999. The match was played at Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain, to determine the winner of the 1998–99 UEFA Champions League. The final was contested by Manchester United and Bayern Munich...

  • Intercontinental Cup
    Intercontinental Cup (football)
    The European/South American Cup, commonly referred to as the World Club Championship, Intercontinental Cup or Toyota Cup, was a football competition endorsed by UEFA and CONMEBOL, contested between the winners of the European Cup and the South American Copa Libertadores...

     (1): 1999
    1999 Intercontinental Cup
    The 1999 Intercontinental Cup was a football match played on 30 November 1999 between Manchester United, winners of the 1998–99 UEFA Champions League, and Palmeiras, winners of the 1999 Copa Libertadores...

  • FA Community Shield
    FA Community Shield
    The Football Association Community Shield is English football's annual match contested between the champions of the previous Premier League season and the holders of the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium. If the Premier League champions also won the FA Cup then the league runners-up provide the opposition...

     (4): 1993
    1993 FA Charity Shield
    The 1993 FA Charity Shield was the 71st FA Charity Shield, an annual football match played between the winners of the previous season's Premier League and FA Cup competitions. The match was played on 7 August 1993 at Wembley Stadium and contested by Manchester United, who had won the 1992–93...

    , 1994
    1994 FA Charity Shield
    The 1994 FA Charity Shield was the 72nd FA Charity Shield, an annual football match played between the winners of the previous season's Premier League and FA Cup competitions...

    , 1996
    1996 FA Charity Shield
    The 1996 FA Charity Shield was the 74th FA Charity Shield, an annual football match played between the winners of the previous season's Premier League and FA Cup competitions...

    , 1997
    1997 FA Charity Shield
    The 1997 FA Charity Shield was the 75th FA Charity Shield, an annual football match played between the winners of the previous season's Premier League and FA Cup competitions. The match was played on 3 August 1997 at Wembley Stadium and contested by Manchester United, who had won the 1996–97 FA...

  • FA Youth Cup
    FA Youth Cup
    The Football Association Youth Challenge Cup is an English football competition run by The Football Association for under–18 sides. Only those players between the age of 15 and 18 on 31 August of the current season are eligible to take part...

     (1): 1992


Real Madrid
  • La Liga
    La Liga
    The Primera División of the Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional , commonly known as La Liga or, for sponsorship reasons, Liga BBVA since 2008, is the top professional association football division of the Spanish football league system...

     (1): 2006–07
  • Supercopa de España
    Supercopa de España
    The Supercopa de España is a Spanish football championship contested by the winners of La Liga and the Copa del Rey...

     (1): 2003
    2003 Supercopa de España
    The 2003 Supercopa de España was two-leg Spanish football matches played on 24 August and 27 August 2003. It contested by RCD Mallorca, who were Spanish Cup winners in 2002–03, and Real Madrid, who won the 2002–03 Spanish League. Real Madrid won 4–2 on aggregate.-First leg:-Second leg:-References:...

  • Copa del Rey
    Copa del Rey
    The Copa del Rey is an annual football cup competition for Spanish football teams. Its full name is Campeonato de España – Copa de Su Majestad el Rey de Fútbol ....

     Runner-up: 2003–04


Los Angeles Galaxy
  • MLS Supporters' Shield
    MLS Supporters' Shield
    The Supporters' Shield is an annual award given to the Major League Soccer team with the best regular season record, as determined by the MLS points system...

     (2): 2010
    2010 Major League Soccer season
    The 2010 Major League Soccer season was the 98th season of FIFA-sanctioned soccer, the 32nd with a national first-division league, in the United States and Canada, and the 15th in MLS history. It began on March 25 at Seattle's Qwest Field with Seattle Sounders FC defeating the expansion...

    , 2011
    2011 Major League Soccer season
    The 2011 Major League Soccer season was the 99th season of FIFA-sanctioned soccer, the 33rd with a national first-division league, in the United States and Canada, and the 16th season of Major League Soccer. The season marked the arrival of two new league clubs, Portland Timbers and Vancouver...

  • MLS Cup
    MLS Cup
    The MLS Cup is the championship match of Major League Soccer, the highest tier of professional soccer in the United States and Canada. As the final match of the MLS Cup playoffs, the winner is crowned the season champion in the same manner as other North American sports leagues...

     (1): 2011
    2011 Major League Soccer season
    The 2011 Major League Soccer season was the 99th season of FIFA-sanctioned soccer, the 33rd with a national first-division league, in the United States and Canada, and the 16th season of Major League Soccer. The season marked the arrival of two new league clubs, Portland Timbers and Vancouver...


International

England
  • Tournoi de France
    Tournoi de France
    The Tournoi de France was a friendly international football tournament held in Paris and other cities of France in early June of 1997 as a warm-up to the 1998 FIFA World Cup. The four national teams participating at the tournament were Brazil, England, hosts France, and Italy...

    : 1997
  • FA Summer Tournament: 2004
    2004 FA Summer Tournament
    The FA Summer Tournament was a minor international football competition, which took place in England in summer 2004.Host nation England, Japan and Iceland participated in the tournament, and matches took place at the City of Manchester Stadium, home of English club Manchester City.This three-nation...


Individual

  • Premier League Player of the Month
    Premier League Player of the Month
    The Player of the Month is an association football award that recognises the best Premier League player each month of the season. The recipient is chosen by a panel assembled by the League's sponsor, and announced alongside the Manager of the Month on the first or second Friday of the following month...

     (1): August 1996
  • PFA Young Player of the Year
    PFA Young Player of the Year
    The Professional Footballers' Association Young Player of the Year is an annual award given to the player aged 23 or under at the start of the season who is adjudged to have been the best of the season in English football...

     (1): 1996–97
  • Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year
    Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year
    The Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year, previously known as the MUFC Members Player of the Year , is an award presented to the Manchester United fans' player of the season. It is named after former Manchester United manager Sir Matt Busby, who managed the club in two spells, from 1945 to 1969 and...

     (1): 1996–97
  • UEFA Club Footballer of the Year
    UEFA Club Footballer of the Year
    The UEFA Club Footballer of the Year was a football award presented by UEFA to the most outstanding performers of the European club football season. The award, along with "Best Goalkeeper," "Best Defender," "Best Midfielder," and "Best Forward," was given at the end of each season at a special gala...

     (1): 1998–99
  • UEFA Club Midfielder of the Year
    UEFA Club Football Awards
    The UEFA Club Football Awards are awards given by UEFA to the most outstanding performers of the European club football season. The awards were presented in August each year at a special gala in Monaco ahead of the UEFA Super Cup. Since 2005, the awards are presented at the UEFA Champions League draw...

     (1): 1998–99
  • Premier League 10 Seasons Awards
    Premier League 10 Seasons Awards
    The Premier League 10 Seasons Awards were a set of English football awards which marked the first 10 years of competition in the Premier League, the top-level domestic league competition of professional football in England...

     (1992–93 to 2001–02):
    • Domestic & Overall Team of the Decade
    • Goal of the Decade (vs. Wimbledon, 17 August 1996)
  • BBC Sports Personality of the Year
    BBC Sports Personality of the Year
    The BBC Sports Personality of the Year is an awards ceremony that takes place annually in December. Devised by Paul Fox in 1954, it originally consisted of one titular award. Several new awards have been introduced, and , eight awards are presented. The oldest of these are the Team of the Year and...

     (1): 2001
  • FIFA 100
    FIFA 100
    The FIFA 100 is a list of the world-renowned Brazilian striker Pelé's choice of the "greatest living footballers". Unveiled on 4 March 2004 at a gala ceremony in London, the FIFA 100 marked part of the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Fédération Internationale de...

  • ESPY Award
    ESPY Awards
    An ESPY Award is an accolade presented by the American cable television network ESPN to recognize individual and team athletic achievement and other sports-related performance during the calendar year preceding a given annual ceremony. The first ESPYs were awarded in 1993...

     – Best Male Soccer Player: 2004
  • ESPY
    ESPY Awards
    An ESPY Award is an accolade presented by the American cable television network ESPN to recognize individual and team athletic achievement and other sports-related performance during the calendar year preceding a given annual ceremony. The first ESPYs were awarded in 1993...

     Award – Best MLS Player: 2008
  • English Football Hall of Fame
    English Football Hall of Fame
    The English Football Hall of Fame is housed at the National Football Museum, currently being relocated to Manchester, England. The Hall aims to celebrate and highlight the achievements of the all-time top English footballing talents, as well as non-English players and managers who have become...

    : 2008
  • BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award
    BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award
    The BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award is an award given annually as part of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony each December. The award is given to a sportsperson "who has made a major impact on the world of sport during their lifetime". The winner is...

     (1): 2010
  • MLS Comeback Player of the Year Award
    MLS Comeback Player of the Year Award
    In the United States, Major League Soccer has handed out a Comeback Player of the Year award since 2000. Here is a list of the past winners:...

     (1): 2011
  • Major League Soccer Best XI
    MLS Best XI
    The MLS Best XI is an acknowledgement of the best eleven players in the league in a given season for Major League Soccer in Canada and the United States.-Winners:*Players in bold text also won the Major League Soccer MVP Award award for that season....

    : 2011

Orders and special awards

  • Officer in the Order of the British Empire
    Order of the British Empire
    The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

     by Queen Elizabeth II
    Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
    Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

    : 2003
  • England Player of the Year
    England Player of the Year
    The England Player of the Year is a football award presented by The FA to the most outstanding performers of the England national team. The award is given out at the end of the calendar year and is decided by an online poll by England fans on FA.com.-Winners:...

    : 2003
  • United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF
    United Nations Children's Fund
    United Nations Children's Fund was created by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 1946, to provide emergency food and healthcare to children in countries that had been devastated by World War II...

    ) Goodwill Ambassador (2005–present)
  • "Britain's Greatest Ambassador" – 100 Greatest Britons
    Greatest Britons
    Greatest Britons was a one-off awards show on ITV, celebrating the best of British talent. It is distinct from 100 Greatest Britons.Greatest Britons recognises the most creative and successful people from across the UK who've achieved worldwide fame within their professional fields. The winners of...

     awards
  • The Celebrity 100, number 15 – Forbes, 2007
  • Number 1 on the list of the 40 most influential men under the age of 40 in the UK – Arena
    Arena (magazine)
    Arena was a British monthly men's magazine. The magazine was created in 1986 by Nick Logan, who had started The Face in 1980, to focus on trends in fashion and entertainment. British graphic designer Neville Brody, who had designed The Face, designed Arena's launch appearance.The magazine featured...

    , 2007
  • Time 100
    Time 100
    Time 100 is an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, as assembled by Time. First published in 1999 as a result of a debate among several academics, the list has become an annual event.-History and format:...

    : 2008
  • Gold Blue Peter Badge
    Blue Peter badge
    A Blue Peter badge is a much coveted award for Blue Peter viewers, given by the children's television programme for those appearing on the show, or in recognition of achievement...

     winner, 2001

Statistics

Club Season League Cup League Cup Continental Other1 Total
AppsGoalsAssistsAppsGoalsAssistsAppsGoalsAssistsAppsGoalsAssistsAppsGoalsAssistsAppsGoalsAssists
Manchester United
Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United Football Club is an English professional football club, based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, that plays in the Premier League. Founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, the club changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to Old Trafford in 1910.The 1958...

1992–93 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
1993–94 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Preston North End (loan)
Preston North End F.C.
Preston North End Football Club is an English professional football club located in the Deepdale area of the city of Preston, Lancashire, currently playing in the third tier of English league football, League One...

1994–95 5 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 2 0
Manchester United
Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United Football Club is an English professional football club, based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, that plays in the Premier League. Founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, the club changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to Old Trafford in 1910.The 1958...

1994–95 4 0 0 2 0 0 3 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 10 1 0
1995–96 33 7 3 1 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 40 8
1996–97 36 8 2 1 0 0 0 10 2 1 1 49 12
1997–98 37 9 1 4 2 0 0 0 8 0 1 0 50 11 1
1998–99 34 6 7 1 1 0 12 2 2 1 0 55 9 2
1999–00 31 6 2 0 0 0 12 2 0 5 0 0 48 8 2
2000–01 31 9 1 2 0 0 0 0 12 0 1 0 46 9 1
2001–02 28 11 0 1 0 0 0 0 13 5 3 1 0 43 16 3
2002–03 31 6 9 3 1 0 5 1 0 13 3 2 0 0 0 52 11 11
Total 2656213246121831571013998720
Real Madrid
Real Madrid C.F.
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol , commonly known as Real Madrid, is a professional football club based in Madrid, Spain. The club have won a record 31 La Liga titles, the Primera División of the Liga de Fútbol Profesional , 18 Copas del Rey, 8 Spanish Super Cups, 1 Copa Eva Duarte and 1 Copa de la...

2003–04 32 3 0 4 2 0 7 1 1 2 1 1 45 7 2
2004–05 30 4 2 0 0 0 8 0 3 0 0 0 38 4 5
2005–06 31 3 10 3 1 0 7 1 2 0 0 0 41 5 12
2006–07 23 3 6 2 1 0 6 0 0 0 0 0 31 4 6
Total 1161318940Los Angeles Galaxy
Los Angeles Galaxy
The Los Angeles Galaxy are an American professional soccer team, based in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, California, which competes in Major League Soccer , the top professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. It is one of the ten charter clubs of MLS, and the league's second...

2007
2007 Major League Soccer season
The 2007 Major League Soccer season was the 12th season in league history. The season began on April 7 and concluded with MLS Cup 2007 on November 18, 2007 at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington, D.C.....

5 0 2 0 0 0 2 1 1 7 1 3
2008
2008 Major League Soccer season
The 2008 Major League Soccer season was the 13th season in league history. The season began on March 29 and ended with MLS Cup 2008, on November 23 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, California.-Changes from the 2007 season:...

25 5 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 25 5 6
Milan
A.C. Milan
Associazione Calcio Milan, commonly referred to as A.C. Milan or simply Milan , is a professional Italian football club based in Milan, Lombardy, that plays in the Serie A. Milan was founded in 1899 by English lace-maker Herbert Kilpin and businessman Alfred Edwards among others...

 (loan)
2008–09
Serie A 2008-09
The 2008–09 Serie A was the seventy-seventh season since its establishment. It began on 30 August 2008 and ended on 31 May 2009, with the announcement of the list of fixtures made on 25 July 2008...

18 2 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 20 2 5
Los Angeles Galaxy
Los Angeles Galaxy
The Los Angeles Galaxy are an American professional soccer team, based in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, California, which competes in Major League Soccer , the top professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. It is one of the ten charter clubs of MLS, and the league's second...

2009
2009 Major League Soccer season
The 2009 Major League Soccer season was the 14th season of Major League Soccer. The season began on March 19 and ended with Real Salt Lake winning the MLS Cup 2009, on November 22 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington-Changes from the 2008 season:...

11 2 3 0 0 0 4 0 0 15 2 3
Milan
A.C. Milan
Associazione Calcio Milan, commonly referred to as A.C. Milan or simply Milan , is a professional Italian football club based in Milan, Lombardy, that plays in the Serie A. Milan was founded in 1899 by English lace-maker Herbert Kilpin and businessman Alfred Edwards among others...

 (loan)
2009–10 11 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 13 0 1
Total 2926000Los Angeles Galaxy
Los Angeles Galaxy
The Los Angeles Galaxy are an American professional soccer team, based in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, California, which competes in Major League Soccer , the top professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. It is one of the ten charter clubs of MLS, and the league's second...

2010
2010 Major League Soccer season
The 2010 Major League Soccer season was the 98th season of FIFA-sanctioned soccer, the 32nd with a national first-division league, in the United States and Canada, and the 15th in MLS history. It began on March 25 at Seattle's Qwest Field with Seattle Sounders FC defeating the expansion...

7 2 3 0 0 0 3 0 0 10 2 3
2011
2011 Major League Soccer season
The 2011 Major League Soccer season was the 99th season of FIFA-sanctioned soccer, the 33rd with a national first-division league, in the United States and Canada, and the 16th season of Major League Soccer. The season marked the arrival of two new league clubs, Portland Timbers and Vancouver...

24 2 11 0 0 0 3 0 2 27 2 13
Total 721125000|–1213811228
Career total 47990623310012101131713233366912178

1Includes other competitive competitions, including the FA Community Shield
FA Community Shield
The Football Association Community Shield is English football's annual match contested between the champions of the previous Premier League season and the holders of the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium. If the Premier League champions also won the FA Cup then the league runners-up provide the opposition...

, UEFA Super Cup, Intercontinental Cup
Intercontinental Cup (football)
The European/South American Cup, commonly referred to as the World Club Championship, Intercontinental Cup or Toyota Cup, was a football competition endorsed by UEFA and CONMEBOL, contested between the winners of the European Cup and the South American Copa Libertadores...

, FIFA Club World Cup
FIFA Club World Cup
The FIFA Club World Cup is a football competition between the champion clubs from all six continental confederations.The first FIFA Club World Championship took place in Brazil in January 2000...

, Supercopa de España
Supercopa de España
The Supercopa de España is a Spanish football championship contested by the winners of La Liga and the Copa del Rey...

 and the SuperLiga
North American SuperLiga
The SuperLiga was an official North American association football competition between teams from the Primera División of Mexico and Major League Soccer of the United States and Canada, the top divisions in each country. The competition was sanctioned by CONCACAF, U.S...



|-
|1996||3||0
|-
|1997||9||0
|-
|1998||8||1
|-
|1999||7||0
|-
|2000||10||0
|-
|2001||10||5
|-
|2002||9||3
|-
|2003||9||4
|-
|2004||12||2
|-
|2005||9||1
|-
|2006||8||1
|-
|2007||5||0
|-
|2008||8||0
|-
|2009||8||0
|-
!Total||115||17
|}

David Beckham Academy

In 2005, Beckham founded the David Beckham Academy
David Beckham Academy
The David Beckham Academy is a football school founded by England international David Beckham in 2005. , it operates in two locations: in London, United Kingdom, and in Los Angeles, California, United States, though the London location closed in early 2010 .Further Academy sites are planned at...

 football school, operating from two sites: in London and in Los Angeles, California. It was announced in late 2009 that both would close. A mobile academy is being developed by Beckham, to travel around the UK and further afield.

Personal life

In 1997, Beckham started dating Victoria Adams
Victoria Beckham
Victoria Caroline Beckham is an English singer-songwriter, dancer, model, actress, fashion designer and businesswoman. In the late 1990s, Beckham rose to fame with the all-female pop group Spice Girls and was dubbed Posh Spice by the July 1996 issue of the British pop music magazine Top of the Pops...

, after she attended a Manchester United match. She was famously known as "Posh Spice" of the pop music group Spice Girls
Spice Girls
The Spice Girls were a British pop girl group formed in 1994. The group consisted of Victoria Beckham , Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton, Melanie Chisholm and Geri Halliwell. They were signed to Virgin Records and released their debut single, "Wannabe" in 1996, which hit number-one in more than 30...

, one of the world's top pop groups at the time, and his team was also enjoying a great run of success. Therefore, their relationship instantly attracted a great deal of media attention. The couple were dubbed "Posh and Becks
Posh and Becks
Posh and Becks is the media inspired nickname for the English celebrity supercouple Victoria Beckham and David Beckham ....

" by the media. He proposed to her on 24 January 1998 in a restaurant in Cheshunt
Cheshunt
Cheshunt is a town in Hertfordshire, England with a population of around 52,000 according to the United Kingdom's 2001 Census. It is a dormitory town and part of the Greater London Urban Area and London commuter belt served by Cheshunt railway station...

, England.

On 4 July 1999, David and Victoria married at Luttrellstown Castle
Luttrellstown Castle
Luttrellstown Castle, dating from the early 15th century , is located near Clonsilla on the outskirts of Dublin, Ireland. It has been owned variously by the eponymous and notorious Luttrell family, by the bookseller Luke White and his descendants Baron Annaly, by the Guinness family, the Primwest...

 in Ireland. The wedding attracted tremendous media coverage. Beckham's teammate Gary Neville
Gary Neville
Gary Alexander Neville is a former English footballer. He is England's most capped right-back and was Manchester United's club captain for five years....

 was the best man, and the couple's infant son, Brooklyn, was the ring bearer. The media were kept away from the ceremony, as the Beckhams had an exclusive deal with OK! Magazine
OK!
OK! is a British weekly magazine specializing in celebrity news. Originally launched as a monthly, its first issue was published in April 1993. In September 2004, OK! publishers Northern and Shell launched in Australia as a monthly title – the magazine went weekly in October 2006...

, but newspapers were still able to obtain photographs showing them sitting on golden thrones. 437 staff were employed for the wedding reception, which was estimated to have cost £500,000.

In 1999, David and Victoria Beckham purchased their most famous home in Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England. The county town is Hertford.The county is one of the Home Counties and lies inland, bordered by Greater London , Buckinghamshire , Bedfordshire , Cambridgeshire and...

, unofficially dubbed Beckingham Palace
Beckingham Palace
Rowneybury House , otherwise known as Beckingham Palace , is a Grade II listed building in the United Kingdom owned by Posh and Becks...

, estimated to be worth £7.5 million. David and Victoria Beckham have four children: sons Brooklyn Joseph (born 1999 in London), Romeo James (born 2002 in London), and Cruz David (born 2005 in Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

; the word "cruz" is Spanish for "cross"); and daughter Harper Seven (born 2011, in Los Angeles). Elton John
Elton John
Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE, Hon DMus is an English rock singer-songwriter, composer, pianist and occasional actor...

 is godfather to Brooklyn and Romeo Beckham; their godmother is Elizabeth Hurley
Elizabeth Hurley
Elizabeth Jane Hurley is an English model and actress who became known as a girlfriend of Hugh Grant in the 1990s. In 1994, as Grant became the focus of worldwide media attention due to the global box office success of his film Four Weddings and a Funeral, Hurley accompanied him to the film's Los...

.

In April 2007, the family purchased their current main residence, an Italian villa in Beverly Hills, to coincide with Beckham's transfer to the Galaxy that July. The mansion, priced at $22 million, is near the homes of Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise
Thomas Cruise Mapother IV , better known as Tom Cruise, is an American film actor and producer. He has been nominated for three Academy Awards and he has won three Golden Globe Awards....

 and Katie Holmes
Katie Holmes
Katherine Noelle "Katie" Holmes is an American actress who first achieved fame for her role as Joey Potter on The WB television teen drama Dawson's Creek from 1998 to 2003. Her movie roles have included the blockbuster Batman Begins along with art house films such as The Ice Storm and thrillers...

, and talk-show host Jay Leno
Jay Leno
James Douglas Muir "Jay" Leno is an American stand-up comedian and television host.From 1992 to 2009, Leno was the host of NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Beginning in September 2009, Leno started a primetime talk show, titled The Jay Leno Show, which aired weeknights at 10:00 p.m. ,...

, in an exclusive gated community in the hills overlooking the city.

In September 2011, Beckham was rumored in Tweeter
Tweeter
A tweeter is a loudspeaker designed to produce high audio frequencies, typically from around 2,000 Hz to 20,000 Hz . Some tweeters can manage response up to 65 kHz...

 tweets to have died in a car crash. It was said that the 36-year-old lost control while driving a friend's vehicle on Interstate 80 and rolled the vehicle several times killing him instantly. Since, in November, he assisted in the winning Los Angeles Galaxy
Los Angeles Galaxy
The Los Angeles Galaxy are an American professional soccer team, based in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, California, which competes in Major League Soccer , the top professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. It is one of the ten charter clubs of MLS, and the league's second...

 drive to capture the 2011 Major League Soccer Cup
MLS Cup
The MLS Cup is the championship match of Major League Soccer, the highest tier of professional soccer in the United States and Canada. As the final match of the MLS Cup playoffs, the winner is crowned the season champion in the same manner as other North American sports leagues...

, reports of demise are premature.

Affair claims

In April 2004, the British tabloid News of the World
News of the World
The News of the World was a national red top newspaper published in the United Kingdom from 1843 to 2011. It was at one time the biggest selling English language newspaper in the world, and at closure still had one of the highest English language circulations...

carried claims by Beckham's former personal assistant Rebecca Loos
Rebecca Loos
Rebecca Loos is a Spanish-born Anglo-Dutch model and media personality, who was brought to media attention following claims that she conducted an affair with the married football player David Beckham—while employed as his personal assistant...

 that he and Loos had an extramarital affair. A week later, the Malaysian-born Australian model Sarah Marbeck claimed that she had slept with Beckham on two occasions. Beckham dismissed both accusations as "ludicrous".
There has never been any proof of any of the allegations of Beckham's claimed infidelity. In an interview with W Magazine, Victoria Beckham told a reporter, "I'm not going to lie: it was a really tough time. It was hard for our entire families. But I realised a lot of people have a price."

Legal issues

In December 2008, Beckham and his bodyguard were sued by paparazzi
Paparazzi
Paparazzi is an Italian term used to refer to photojournalists who specialize in candid photography of celebrities, politicians, and other prominent people...

 photographer Emicles da Mata, who claimed that he was assaulted by them when attempting to take a picture of Beckham in Beverly Hills. Da Mata is seeking unspecified damages for assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

In September 2010 Beckham announced that he is pressing charges against prostitute Irma Nici and several others over claims in the magazine In Touch that he had had sex with her.

Fame beyond football

Beckham's fame extends beyond the pitch
Association football pitch
An association football pitch is the playing surface for the game of association football made of turf. Its dimensions and markings are defined by Law 1 of the Laws of the Game, "The Field of Play".All line markings on the pitch form part of the area which they define...

; in much of the world his name is "as instantly recognisable as that of multinational companies like Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola is a carbonated soft drink sold in stores, restaurants, and vending machines in more than 200 countries. It is produced by The Coca-Cola Company of Atlanta, Georgia, and is often referred to simply as Coke...

 and IBM
IBM
International Business Machines Corporation or IBM is an American multinational technology and consulting corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York, United States. IBM manufactures and sells computer hardware and software, and it offers infrastructure, hosting and consulting services in areas...

." Beckham's relationship and marriage to Victoria, who has been famous in her own right as part of the musical group Spice Girls
Spice Girls
The Spice Girls were a British pop girl group formed in 1994. The group consisted of Victoria Beckham , Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton, Melanie Chisholm and Geri Halliwell. They were signed to Virgin Records and released their debut single, "Wannabe" in 1996, which hit number-one in more than 30...

, contributed to David's celebrity beyond football. So gilded has been the career of Beckham that Victoria revealed her nickname for her husband to be "Golden Balls", which epithet he shares with an obscure mediaeval Anglo-Norman knight whose French name was Latinised to de Aureis Testiculis.

Beckham became known as a fashion plate, and together with Victoria, the couple became lucrative spokespeople sought after by clothing designers, health and fitness specialists, fashion magazines, perfume and cosmetics manufacturers, hair stylists, exercise promoters, and spa and recreation companies. One recent example is a new line of aftershave and fragrances called David Beckham Instinct. In 2002 Beckham was hailed as the ultimate "metrosexual
Metrosexual
Metrosexual is a neologism derived from metropolitan and heterosexual coined in 1994 describing a man who spends a lot of time and money on shopping for his appearance...

" by the man who invented the term and has been described as such by numerous other articles since. The Beckhams were reportedly paid $13.7 million in 2007 to launch his fragrance line in the US. In the world of fashion, David has already appeared on the covers of many magazines. U.S. covers have included the men's magazine Details
Details (magazine)
Details is an American monthly men's magazine published by Condé Nast Publications, founded in 1982. Though primarily a magazine devoted to fashion and lifestyle, Details also features reports on relevant social and political issues.-History:...

, and with his wife for the August 2007 issue of W
W (magazine)
W is a monthly American fashion magazine published by Condé Nast Publications, who purchased original owner Fairchild Publications in 1999. It was created in 1971 by the publisher of sister magazine Woman's Wear Daily, James Brady. The magazine is an oversize format – ten inches wide and...

. According to Google, "David Beckham" was searched for more than any other sports topic on their site in 2003 and 2004. The search engine Ask Jeeves named Beckham in December 2009 as the third most online searched person in the last decade. The findings are based on online activity by British users of the search engine.

Upon their arrival in Los Angeles on 12 July 2007, the night before Beckham's formal introduction, Los Angeles International Airport
Los Angeles International Airport
Los Angeles International Airport is the primary airport serving the Greater Los Angeles Area, the second-most populated metropolitan area in the United States. It is most often referred to by its IATA airport code LAX, with the letters pronounced individually...

 was filled with paparazzi and news reporters. On the next night, Victoria appeared on The Tonight Show
The Tonight Show
The Tonight Show is an American late-night talk show that has aired on NBC since 1954. It is the longest currently running regularly scheduled entertainment program in the United States, and the third longest-running show on NBC, after Meet the Press and Today.The Tonight Show has been hosted by...

 with Jay Leno
Jay Leno
James Douglas Muir "Jay" Leno is an American stand-up comedian and television host.From 1992 to 2009, Leno was the host of NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Beginning in September 2009, Leno started a primetime talk show, titled The Jay Leno Show, which aired weeknights at 10:00 p.m. ,...

 to talk about the their move to LA, and presented Leno with a number 23 Galaxy jersey with his own name on the back. Victoria also talked about her NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 TV show Victoria Beckham: Coming to America
Victoria Beckham: Coming to America
Victoria Beckham: Coming to America was a one-hour American TV special that featured British former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham moving to the United States where her husband, David Beckham, begins his career playing football for LA Galaxy of the MLS....

On 22 July, a private welcoming party was held for the couple at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles is a contemporary art museum with three locations in greater Los Angeles, California. The main branch is located on Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles, near Walt Disney Concert Hall...

. A-list
A-list
A-list is a term that alludes to major movie stars, or the most bankable in the Hollywood film industry.The A-list is part of a larger guide called The Hot List that has become an industry-standard guide in Hollywood...

 celebrities attending included Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
Steven Allan Spielberg KBE is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, video game designer, and studio entrepreneur. In a career of more than four decades, Spielberg's films have covered many themes and genres. Spielberg's early science-fiction and adventure films were seen as an...

, Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey
James Eugene "Jim" Carrey is a Canadian-American actor and comedian. He has received two Golden Globe Awards and has also been nominated on four occasions. Carrey began comedy in 1979, performing at Yuk Yuk's in Toronto, Ontario...

, George Clooney
George Clooney
George Timothy Clooney is an American actor, film director, producer, and screenwriter. For his work as an actor, he has received two Golden Globe Awards and an Academy Award...

, Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise
Thomas Cruise Mapother IV , better known as Tom Cruise, is an American film actor and producer. He has been nominated for three Academy Awards and he has won three Golden Globe Awards....

, Katie Holmes
Katie Holmes
Katherine Noelle "Katie" Holmes is an American actress who first achieved fame for her role as Joey Potter on The WB television teen drama Dawson's Creek from 1998 to 2003. Her movie roles have included the blockbuster Batman Begins along with art house films such as The Ice Storm and thrillers...

, Will Smith
Will Smith
Willard Christopher "Will" Smith, Jr. , also known by his stage name The Fresh Prince, is an American actor, producer, and rapper. He has enjoyed success in television, film and music. In April 2007, Newsweek called him the most powerful actor in Hollywood...

, Jada Pinkett Smith
Jada Pinkett Smith
Jada Koren Pinkett Smith is an American actress, producer, director, author, singer-songwriter, and businesswoman. She began her career in 1990, when she made a guest appearance in the short-lived sitcom True Colors. She starred in A Different World, produced by Bill Cosby, and she featured...

, and Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer and philanthropist. Winfrey is best known for her self-titled, multi-award-winning talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind in history and was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2011...

.

Beckham's many endorsement deals make him one of the most recognisable athletes throughout the world. On 31 December 2008, it was announced that Pepsi Co. was ending its endorsement deal with the player after a 10-year collaboration. Beckham has several eponymous video games, including Go! Go! Beckham! Adventure on Soccer Island
Go! Go! Beckham! Adventure on Soccer Island
Go! Go! Beckham! Adventure on Soccer Island is a platform video game developed by Denki and published by Rage Software for the Game Boy Advance. It was released in Europe in 2002, and was not released in other regions....

, a platform game
Platform game
A platform game is a video game characterized by requiring the player to jump to and from suspended platforms or over obstacles . It must be possible to control these jumps and to fall from platforms or miss jumps...

 for the Game Boy Advance
Game Boy Advance
The is a 32-bit handheld video game console developed, manufactured, and marketed by Nintendo. It is the successor to the Game Boy Color. It was released in Japan on March 21, 2001; in North America on June 11, 2001; in Australia and Europe on June 22, 2001; and in the People's Republic of China...

, and David Beckham Soccer, a football game for the Xbox
Xbox
The Xbox is a sixth-generation video game console manufactured by Microsoft. It was released on November 15, 2001 in North America, February 22, 2002 in Japan, and March 14, 2002 in Australia and Europe and is the predecessor to the Xbox 360. It was Microsoft's first foray into the gaming console...

. In August 2010, Beckham signed an endorsement deal with EA SPORTS
EA Sports
EA Sports is a brand of Electronic Arts that creates and develops sports video games. Formerly a marketing gimmick of Electronic Arts, in which they tried to mimic real-life sports networks by calling themselves "EA Sports Network" with pictures or endorsements of real commentators such as John...

 to become brand ambassador for EA SPORTS Active 2.

Beckham visited Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 in May 2010 for a morale-boosting visit to British troops fighting the Taliban insurgency
Taliban insurgency
The Taliban insurgency took root shortly after the group's fall from power following the 2001 war in Afghanistan. The Taliban continue to attack Afghan, U.S., and other ISAF troops and many terrorist incidents attributable to them have been registered. The war has also spread over the southern and...

. The appearance of Beckham as well as British Foreign Secretary William Hague
William Hague
William Jefferson Hague is the British Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State. He served as Leader of the Conservative Party from June 1997 to September 2001...

 and Defence Secretary Liam Fox
Liam Fox
Liam Fox MP is a British Conservative politician, Member of Parliament for North Somerset, and former Secretary of State for Defence....

 was believed to have prompted a Taliban attack on Kandahar
Kandahar
Kandahar is the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 512,200 as of 2011. It is the capital of Kandahar Province, located in the south of the country at about 1,005 m above sea level...

 airfield.

Charitable work

Beckham has supported UNICEF
United Nations Children's Fund
United Nations Children's Fund was created by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 1946, to provide emergency food and healthcare to children in countries that had been devastated by World War II...

 since his days at Manchester United
Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United Football Club is an English professional football club, based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, that plays in the Premier League. Founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, the club changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to Old Trafford in 1910.The 1958...

 and in January 2005, the English national team captain became a Goodwill Ambassador with a special focus on UNICEF's Sports for Development program.
More recently Beckham has pledged his support for the current Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS
Unite for Children, Unite Against AIDS
Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS is a global Campaign launched by UNICEF in 2005 to raise awareness of the plight of children globally in relation to HIV and AIDS, and to spur action....

 campaign.

On 17 January 2007, Rebecca Johnstone, a 19-year-old cancer patient from Hamilton, Ontario
Hamilton, Ontario
Hamilton is a port city in the Canadian province of Ontario. Conceived by George Hamilton when he purchased the Durand farm shortly after the War of 1812, Hamilton has become the centre of a densely populated and industrialized region at the west end of Lake Ontario known as the Golden Horseshoe...

, Canada, received a surprise phone call from Beckham. After the conversation, he sent her a Real Madrid jersey with his signature on it. Rebecca died on 29 January 2007.

Beckham is a spokesman for Malaria No More
Malaria No More
Malaria No More is a nonprofit organization that aims to end death caused by malaria in Africa by 2015. Malaria No More is known for its participation in the Idol Gives Back charity specials.- History :...

, a New York City-based non-profit launched in 2006. Malaria No More's mission is to end deaths caused by malaria
Malaria
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by eukaryotic protists of the genus Plasmodium. The disease results from the multiplication of Plasmodium parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases...

 in Africa. Beckham appears in a 2007 public service announcement advertising the need for inexpensive bed nets. The TV spot currently airs in the U.S. on Fox Networks
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as Fox Network or simply Fox , is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Launched on October 9, 1986, Fox was the highest-rated broadcast network in the...

, including Fox Soccer Channel
Fox Soccer Channel
Fox Soccer is an American television specialty channel, owned by News Corporation's Fox Entertainment Group, that specializes in soccer. It formerly broadcast rugby and Australian rules football, but is now dedicated strictly to soccer...

, and can also be seen on YouTube.

Since joining Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer is a professional soccer league based in the United States and sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation . The league is composed of 19 teams — 16 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada...

, Beckham has been a very public advocate in the U.S. for related charities such as "MLS W.O.R.K.S." On 17 August 2007, he conducted a youth clinic in Harlem
Harlem
Harlem is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Manhattan, which since the 1920s has been a major African-American residential, cultural and business center. Originally a Dutch village, formally organized in 1658, it is named after the city of Haarlem in the Netherlands...

, along with other current and former MLS players. This was in advance of his first New York City area match the following day against the New York Red Bulls. That team's Jozy Altidore
Jozy Altidore
Josmer Volmy "Jozy" Altidore is an American soccer player currently playing for Eredivisie side AZ Alkmaar, and for the United States national team....

 and Juan Pablo Ángel
Juan Pablo Ángel
Juan Pablo Ángel Arango is a Colombian footballer. He currently plays for Chivas USA in Major League Soccer.-Atlético Nacional and River Plate:...

 were also with Beckham, teaching skills to disadvantaged youth to benefit FC Harlem Lions
Harlem Youth Soccer Association
Harlem Youth Soccer Association is a Harlem-based, 5013 [non-profit] youth development organization using soccer as a means of doing social development....

.

Bend It Like Beckham

Beckham never personally appeared in the 2002 film Bend It Like Beckham
Bend It Like Beckham
Bend It Like Beckham is a 2002 comedy-drama film starring Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley, Jonathan Rhys Myers, Anupam Kher, Shaznay Lewis, and Archie Panjabi first released in the United Kingdom. The film was directed by Gurinder Chadha...

, except in archive footage. He and his wife wanted to make cameo appearances, but scheduling proved difficult, so the director used lookalikes instead.

The Goal! Trilogy

Beckham makes a cameo appearance with Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Yazid Zidane is a retired French footballer. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. Zidane was a leading figure of a generation of French players that won the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship...

 and Raúl
Raúl González
Raúl González Blanco , known simply as Raúl, is a Spanish footballer who plays as a striker. He currently plays for German club Schalke 04....

, in the 2005 film Goal!: The Dream Begins
Goal! (film)
Goal! is a 2005 film directed by Danny Cannon. It is the first installment of a trilogy also named Goal!. This film was made with full cooperation from FIFA, which is one of the reasons actual teams and players are used throughout the film...

. Lookalike Andy Harmer, who played him in Bend It Like Beckham, also appears here in one party scene as Beckham. Beckham himself appears in the sequel Goal! 2: Living the Dream...
Goal! 2: Living the Dream...
Goal II: Living the Dream is the second part of the football film trilogy Goal! and it was released on 9 February 2007 in the United Kingdom and 29 August 2008 in the United States.- Plot :...

in a larger role, when the film's lead character gets transferred to Real Madrid
Real Madrid C.F.
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol , commonly known as Real Madrid, is a professional football club based in Madrid, Spain. The club have won a record 31 La Liga titles, the Primera División of the Liga de Fútbol Profesional , 18 Copas del Rey, 8 Spanish Super Cups, 1 Copa Eva Duarte and 1 Copa de la...

. This time the story centres around the Real Madrid team, and besides Beckham, other real life Real Madrid players also appear on and off the pitch, alongside the fictional characters. Beckham appeared in Goal! 3: Taking on the World, which was released straight to DVD on 15 June 2009.

Despite moving to Los Angeles, California, Beckham has expressed no personal interest in pursuit of acting roles, saying he is too "stiff".

Records

Beckham has captained England
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in association football and is controlled by the Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England is the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside Scotland, whom they played in the world's first...

 59 times, the fourth highest after Bobby Moore
Bobby Moore
Robert Frederick Chelsea "Bobby" Moore, OBE was an English footballer. He captained West Ham United for more than ten years and was captain of the England team that won the 1966 World Cup...

 (90), Billy Wright (90) and Bryan Robson
Bryan Robson
Bryan Robson OBE is an English football manager and a former player. He is best known for playing in midfield for Manchester United, where he was the longest serving captain in club history. He was the manager of Sheffield United, being relieved of his first team duties at the club in February 2008...

 (65).

With his free kick goal against Ecuador
Ecuador national football team
The Ecuadorian national football team represents Ecuador in international football competitions and is controlled by the Ecuadorian Football Federation. They generally play official home matches at Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa in Quito, but often play friendlies in other stadiums around the country...

 in the second round of the 2006 FIFA World Cup
2006 FIFA World Cup
The 2006 FIFA World Cup was the 18th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 9 June to 9 July 2006 in Germany, which won the right to host the event in July 2000. Teams representing 198 national football associations from all six...

, Beckham gained membership into two of football's exclusive clubs: he became the only English player – and the 21st player regardless of nationality – to score in three world cups; Real Madrid
Real Madrid C.F.
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol , commonly known as Real Madrid, is a professional football club based in Madrid, Spain. The club have won a record 31 La Liga titles, the Primera División of the Liga de Fútbol Profesional , 18 Copas del Rey, 8 Spanish Super Cups, 1 Copa Eva Duarte and 1 Copa de la...

 teammate Raúl
Raúl González
Raúl González Blanco , known simply as Raúl, is a Spanish footballer who plays as a striker. He currently plays for German club Schalke 04....

 also achieved this feat a few days earlier. It also made him only the fifth player in World Cup history to score twice from a direct free kick; the other four were Pelé
Pelé
However, Pelé has always maintained that those are mistakes, that he was actually named Edson and that he was born on 23 October 1940.), best known by his nickname Pelé , is a retired Brazilian footballer. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest football players of all time...

, Roberto Rivelino, Teófilo Cubillas
Teófilo Cubillas
Teófilo Juan Cubillas Arizaga is a Peruvian former footballer. He was selected as Peru's greatest ever player in an IFFHS poll, in which he was also included in the world's Top 50...

, and Bernard Genghini
Bernard Genghini
Bernard Genghini is a French former football midfielder.- International :He earned 27 caps and scored 6 goals for the France national football team...

 (Beckham had previously scored this way against Colombia
Colombia national football team
The Colombian national football team represents Colombia in international football competitions and is controlled by the Colombian Football Federation. It is a member of the CONMEBOL...

 in the first round of the 1998 FIFA World Cup
1998 FIFA World Cup
The 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 16th FIFA World Cup, was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998. France was chosen as host nation by FIFA on 2 July 1992. The tournament was won by France, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the final...

). All three goals were against South American teams (Colombia, Argentina
Argentina national football team
The Argentina national football team represents Argentina in association football and is controlled by the Argentine Football Association , the governing body for football in Argentina. Argentina's home stadium is Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti and their head coach is Alejandro...

, and Ecuador) and from set pieces (the two aforementioned free kicks and a penalty against Argentina).

Tattoos

Beckham has at least 20 tattoos adorning his body, including recent black-and-white image of Christ drawn on his right side, based on a painting called "The Man Of Sorrows" by Catholic artist Matthew R. Brooks done after the death of his grandfather in 2009. There are also names of his sons Romeo, Cruz and Brooklyn, name of his wife Victoria, written in Hindi
Hindi
Standard Hindi, or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi, also known as Manak Hindi , High Hindi, Nagari Hindi, and Literary Hindi, is a standardized and sanskritized register of the Hindustani language derived from the Khariboli dialect of Delhi...

, because Beckham thought it would be "tacky" to have it in English. On his right shoulder, there's an angel with the text 'In the face of adversity'. Another tattoo is a Bible verse written in Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

, reads אני לדודי ודודי לי הרעה בשושנים, translated into: "I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine, that shepherds among the lilies." In 2004 Beckham added the four-by-six-inch "winged cross" neck tattoo prior to England's three-nation tournament soccer match against Japan in the City of Manchester Stadium. In his autobiography "David Beckham: My Side", Becks reveals some of his thoughts on tattoos: "The idea came to me much later, a little while after Brooklyn was born. I was talking to Mel B and her then-husband, Jimmy Gulzar, and the subject of tattoos came up. I ended up going to this Dutch guy who'd done all of Jimmy's. I'd finally realised what I wanted a tattoo to represent. Mine are all about the people in my life, my wife and sons, who I want with me always. When you see me, you see the tattoos. You see an expression of how I feel about Victoria and the boys. They're part of me."

External links

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