One of the most prolific names in football, David Beckham has been a phenomenon from the moment he could kick a soccer ball. Born on 2nd May 1975 in London , the magnanimous midfielder has played for giants like Manchester United, Real Madrid and the LA Galaxy.
Inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame, the legend is the first Englishman to win the League title in four countries: England, Spain, France and The United States. The former player continues to inspire not only through football but his contribution outside it. Beckham has been a UNICEF ambassador since 2005 and launched The David Beckham UNICEF Fund in 2015.
Born to fanatic Manchester United fans, Beckham inherited his parents’ passion for the game and started showing markings of a promising career from an early age. He started playing for local club Ridgeway Rovers at the age of 10 before being scouted by Tottenham in 1987, with whom he trained for a two-year period. Manchester United came calling in 1991, with whom he signed a youth contract at the age of 16, and carried the team to a victory in the FA Youth Cup
Beckham first emerged on the international platform in 1992, when he represented England in the Under-18 format. He then went on the okay in the Under-21 format as well before breaking into the senior side in 1996.
David Beckham made his professional debut for Manchester United in 1994 at the age of 19, in a league match against Port Vale. He was then sent out on loan to Preston North End for the remaining of the season, where he scored 2 goals in 5 appearances, one of which came in form of an outstanding corner kick.
Beckham made his debut for the England national team in 1996 in the World Cup qualifier against Moldova at the age of 21. He then went on the play the subsequent qualifiers and also represented the team in the 1998 World Cup.
Rise to glory
Following his return to Manchester United, Beckham swiftly rose up the ranks and secured a spot for himself in the first team. The 1995-96 season saw him carrying his team to a victory in both FA Cup and the Premier League title.
On the first day of the League in the next season, Beckham scored an unbelievable goal from the half line against Wimbledon which made him a household name and began an unparalleled journey of greatness. United retained its title that season and Beckham was awarded the PFA Player of the year.
In the 1998-1999 season, Beckham helped his side win the treble of Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, with Beckham playing vital roles in each of them. United won the League in the next two seasons as well to become the fourth club to achieve this feat.
While performing wonders for United, Beckham's international presence was no less prolific. Following a disappointing 1998 World Cup, Beckham emerged as a nation hero in 2001 when he hammered his trademark curler into the net against Greece to qualify for the World Cup. Beckham was voted as the BBC Sports Personality for the year 2001 and finished as the runner up for the FIFA World Player of the year award.
Beckham decided left United in 2003 as the second longest serving players to join La Liga giants Real Madrid. His controversy laden association with Madrid lasted four years during which Madrid won the League in the 2006-07 season and the Supercopa de Espania in 2003.
Beckham joined LA Galaxy in 2007 for a deal reported to be a whopping 250 million dollars. The high profile acquisition marked the beginning of Beckham's much publicised association with the club. Staying with the club for 5 years, Beckham was awarded the MLS players of the year twice and carried his side to League titles in 2011 as well as 2012.
2013 saw him moving to PSG where he made 10 goalless appearances before announcing his retirement
Beckham was handed the onus of captaincy of the England team in 2000. Beckham captained the side for 6 years and 59 matches, before retiring after England's loss at the 2006 World Cup
David Beckham is the only English player to have scored in three World Cups
He is the first British to play 100 Champions League games.
The englishman stands seventh in the Premier League's all time assist provider.
David Beckham retired from professional football in May 2013 as one of the most successful players to have graced the field.