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What does David Beckham have in common with Jay-Z, Adam Levine, and … Russell Westbrook?

Dec 26, 2012, 11:00 PM EDT

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Gone but not forgotten, David Beckham popped up this week in one of the multitude of end-of-year lists making their way into your lives. Not surprising, this one had little to do with his on-the-field prowess, though he’d surely top a list of stars Major League Soccer will miss in 2013.

Last Friday, the Galaxy’s departed icon was named one of GQ magazine’s 25 most stylish men of 2012, an almost expected honor considering the care Beckham has put into crafting his fashion credentials. Still, and probably much to Simon Fuller’s chagrin, Beckham failed to nab the top spot, even if he was the highest-ranked athlete on the list.

The soccer player has been a style icon for years and based on the last twelve months, that title isn’t going away. Unlike years ago though, when the global star was burning through trends and hairstyles, 2012 saw Beckham master a more refined, gentlemanly look that every guy could learn from.

Only three other sports figures made the countdown, each one hailing from the cultural haven that is the NBA:

  • Tyson Chandler, center, New York Knicks
  • Dwayne Wade, shooting guard, Miami Heat
  • Russell Westbrook, point guard, Oklahoma City Thunder

Credit to Westbrook. Do you know how difficult it is to be noticed for your fashion accumen when you spend most of the year in a fly over state? Russ’s style will not be constrained by cultural bias.

Here’s GQ’s full list, though fair warning: There’s a slideshow involved.

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