Manchester United legend David Beckham calls time on ‘fantasy’ career, having realised his dreams

By Chris Bailey

Paris Saint Germain proved David Beckham’s final curtain call after the former Manchester United hero announced his retirement from football.

The trailblazing midfielder made his professional debut in 1994 before going on to collect 14 trophies at United.

And Beckham admits he is lucky to have enjoyed a fairytale career, spanning five countries and 19 years.

“I’m fortunate to have realised those dreams,” said Beckham.

“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.”

A master set-piece taker, Beckham swung in the two crosses which eventually led to the Red Devils’ dramatic stoppage-time turnaround against Bayern Munich in 1999.

He was part of United’s famous youth class of 1992, which included Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, Gary Neville and Paul Scholes – who will also be retiring at the end of the season.

But Beckham departed Old Trafford in 2003 after a series of reported arguments with Sir Alex Ferguson – who allegedly kicked a boot at him during an FA Cup match against Arsenal.

After winning La Liga at the end of a four-year stint at Real Madrid, North American side LA Galaxy whisked him across the pond where he won two MLS Cups.

Italy was also treated to Beckham-mania with two AC Milan loan moves in 2009 and 2010, playing United in the Champions League.

In a brief move back to European football, he joined up with cash-rich PSG for the final four months of the 2012/13 season, picking up another league title in the process.

The 38-year-old is England’s second highest-capped player – with 115 appearances and 17 goals – and captained the Three Lions 59 times.

In another famous injury-time moment, he sent England to World Cup 2002 with a free-kick against Greece at Old Trafford.

Image courtesy of Canal Plus, via YouTube, with thanks.

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