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Sports

May 17, 2013

Beckham to retire from soccer at end of season

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 after 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. He has been giving his salary to a children’s charity.

He 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 one hundred times and lined up for some of the biggest clubs in the world, I would have told you it was a fantasy. I’m fortunate to have realized those dreams,” Beckham said.

On the international stage, Beckham made 115 appearances for England’s national team — a record for a player other than a goalkeeper.

“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 honored to represent England both on and off the pitch.”

With United between 1992 and 2003, Beckham won six Premier League titles, the Champions League, two FA Cups and the Intercontinental Cup. Beckham left United in 2003 shortly after manager Alex Ferguson accidentally struck Beckham’s eye with a football boot.

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