LONDON (AFP) – David Beckham is to retire from professional football at the end of the season, his representative announced on Thursday.
The 38-year-old midfielder has played for Manchester United, Real Madrid, Los Angeles Galaxy and AC Milan, as well as winning 115 caps for England, and recently won the French Ligue 1 championship with Paris Saint-Germain.
“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,” he said, in comments reported by the BBC.
“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 realised those dreams.”
Beckham’s title triumph with PSG made him the first British player to have won league championships in four different countries, after previous successes in England, Spain and the United States.
He won six league titles, two FA Cups and the 1999 Champions League with United, before joining Madrid in 2003, where he won the Spanish league title four years later.
Beckham moved to Los Angeles in 2007, winning two MLS Cup titles with the Galaxy, but spent two loan spells at Milan and then returned to Europe in January this year, when he signed a short-term deal with PSG.
He captained England between 2000 and 2006, played at three World Cups, and has played more times for his country than any other outfield player.