Fri 17/05/2013 - 23:01 EDT

David Beckham Retiring

Soccer super star and philanthropist hangs up his cleats

David Beckham was never the best player in the world in his career, not even the best in his native England, and rarely the best on the club team he played for, but he was easily the most popular and his teams always won. Thanks to movie-star good looks, a storied left foot and a former Spice Girl wife, Beckham transcended soccer to become a global icon. He was just as likely to be featured in a fashion magazine, no international soccer player has ever been a bigger sex symbol with the ladies, as he would be in a sporting magazine.

So if this really is it for Beckham, one can’t compare him to someone like NBA All-Star Michael Jordan among modern-day athletes as Jordan totally dominated his sport and had no athletic peer. Perhaps a more accurate comparison is Tiger Woods. Tiger is a winner first and foremost, but his popularity, like Beckham’s, increased the global reach of his sport as well as further enriching players all over the world. Strategically, Beckham did leave one indelible mark: No one could “Bend It Like Beckham,” as he turned the free kick into a work of art.

Manchester United, Real Madrid, and LA Galaxy star left his mark everywhere

It’s fitting that Beckham will leave as part of French Ligue 1 champion Paris St.-Germain, as he helped lead the side to its first title in 19 years. Over his 20-year career, Beckham also won six English Premier League titles, two FA Cups and a Champions League title with Manchester United, a La Liga championship with Real Madrid, and back-to-back MLS Cups in the United States in his final two seasons with the LA Galaxy. David Beckham is the only English player ever to win titles in four countries. He also had 115 international caps with the English national team and was awarded a Most Excellent Order of the British Empire from the Queen.

International football community loses iconic legend as David Beckham walks away

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the world’s best current players but they are not in Beckham’s league off the pitch. For example, Beckham could be the most popular non-native athlete in China. In March 2013, “Golden Balls” signed a deal, reported to be worth $75 million, to act as an “Ambassador” for the Chinese Super League. Not to play, but simply to visit China occasionally and “compete” in a few exhibitions.

We were amazed to find a David Beckham Infographic showing that Becks banks millions – just in celebrity endorsements on an annual basis. Beckham’s soccer days may not be done in the USA either as he has an optional ownership stake with the LA Galaxy. When Becks signed his deal with the US club, he said he would exercise it when he retired. Don’t expect to see Beckham exiting the international lime-light anytime soon!

 

Category : Sports

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