Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

End it like Beckham: Star to retire

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LONDON -- David Beckham is retiring from soccer, ending a career in which he became a global superstar who transcended the sport.

The 38-year-old Beckham, who recently won a league title in a fourth country with Paris Saint-Germain, said Thursday he will retire at the end of the season.

"I'm thankful to PSG for giving me the opportunity to continue, but I feel now is the right time to finish my career, playing at the highest level," the former England captain said in a statement.

Beckham, whose forays into fashion and marriage to a pop-star wife have made him a riveting international celebrity, has two more matches left at PSG against Brest on Saturday and at Lorient on May 26. He has been giving his salary to a children's charity.

Beckham started his career with Manchester United and also played for Real Madrid and the Los Angeles Galaxy, winning titles with all those clubs.

"If you had told me as a young boy I would have played for and won trophies with my boyhood club, Manchester United, proudly captained and played for my country over 100 times and lined up for some of the biggest clubs in the world, I would have told you it was a fantasy," Beckham said. "I'm fortunate to have realized those dreams."

On the international stage, Beckham holds the England record for making 115 appearances as an outfield player for the national team.

"To this day, one of my proudest achievements is captaining my country," Beckham said. "I knew every time I wore the Three Lions shirt, I was not only following in a long line of great players, I was also representing every fan that cared passionately about their country.

"I'm honoured to represent England both on and off the pitch."

Beckham is now living in London with his wife Victoria, a former Spice Girls singer, and their four children.

With United between 1992 and 2003, Beckham won six Premier League titles, the Champions League, two FA Cups and the Intercontinental Cup.

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 17, 2013 C5

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