May 16, 2013, 11:02 AM EDT
So, it is official.
The lingering suspicions many have had were confirmed on Thursday morning, as the 38-year-old midfielder announced he would finish his career at Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the current season.
David Beckham is the most capped outfield player for the English national team, with 115 appearances. He also became the first Englishman to win domestic titles in four different countries.
He has become one of the greatest names in world soccer and is a global icon for millions around the world. His every move has been watched by the soccer community, after he came through the ranks at Manchester United as a youngster and moved to Real Madrid and the LA Galaxy, with stops at AC Milan and PSG on the way.
His legacy will remain long after his playing days, with Beckham said to be keen on a managerial role in the game. We wait with bated breathe.
Here is a video reminder of just how good he was during his time in Major League Soccer…
England manager Roy Hodgson: “He’s had a glittering career, iconic status, and I wish him well in the future. A lot of people now will be offering him jobs which could take him away from football, but I’m hoping we can keep him. It’s been a strange week for me seeing Rio Ferdinand retire, and not so long back John Terry, and now David Beckham, it does seem like the end of an era.”
Close friend and former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville: “He played in the greatest midfield that I ever played with. David was different – he was a crosser of the ball, a passer of the ball, he was a joy to play with. At the time I played with him, he was someone who worked extremely hard in a fantastic team. He has probably been the most influential player out of England in transforming football. The impact he has had is enormous.”
Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson: “A fantastic football player, a fantastic man, probably the biggest sports personality in the world. If you talk about David Beckham, all over the world they know who that it is. I don’t think there is any other football player more popular than him.
LA Galaxy manager David Beckham: “It is not a sad day, it is a great day. We are now able to celebrate such a great career. David is such a great player, a great personality, a great friend and a great family man. We in the United States in Major League Soccer and specifically with the LA Galaxy were honored to have David here for six years. He is a person we can’t replace on the field at all. He really has meant a lot to the professional game in United States.”
Former England manager Steve McLaren: “He was a great player. He made the very most of his talents through sheer hard work and professionalism and always doing extra work on the training field. He inspired his team-mates through his performances. He was a winner, he’s won so many things in his career, and that was infectious on his team-mates.”
Former England striker Gary Lineker: “David Beckham has retired. A wonderful player, global superstar and a magnificent ambassador for England and football.”
Former Manchester United and England defender Phil Neville: “David Beckham – what an unbelievable career. Four titles in four countries, over 100 caps for England and the best ambassador this country has had!”
Ex-Manchester United winger Lee Sharpe: “David Beckham’s had a remarkable career. Whatever he goes on to do now he will be huge – he’s an unbelievable bloke.”
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