David Beckham is one of the most recognisable and well known names in soccer. He was one of the first players to truly transcend the sport of soccer and become a household name in every corner of the globe.
Alongside a remarkable playing career which spanned three decades, Beckham also endorses a number of commercial deals, runs charities and recently launched his own MLS team, Inter Miami.
We’re going to take a look across the life of the superstar, exploring what made him such a magical player and an icon for a generation of football fans across the world!
David Beckham – The Early Days
Born in London in 1975, Beckham has a passion for soccer at a young age. He grew up in a Manchester United mad household, with both of his parents supporting the club from North West England.
He has a talent for the sport from a young age too, attending coveted football academies run by Sir Bobby Charlton. He played for the academies at locally London sides Leyton Orient and Tottenham Hotspur before joining the famous Manchester United Youth Training Scheme (YTS) in 1991.
Beckham was part of a crop of players later named, the class of ‘92 including big names such as Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville. He had instant success at youth level, winning the FA Youth Cup before a short spell on loan with Preston North End, a move designed to get him first team experience.
Manchester United – 265 Appearances – 62 Goals
Beckham broke into Manchester United’s first team in the 1995/96 season, establishing himself as the first choice right-sided midfielder. It was an iconic season for Manchester United as they closed a 10 point gap on leaders Newcastle to win the Premier League in dramatic fashion. The team also went on to win the FA Cup that season, with Beckham providing the assist for an Eric Cantona winner!
This famous Alex Furguson team went on to dominate through the late 90’s with Beckham a key player for the team throughout. In Beckham’s time at Manchester United, he won six Premier League titles, two FA Cups and one Champions League.
It’s worth watching the highlights of that Champions League final as it is one of the most dramatic in history and secured a famous treble for Beckham and co.
In 2003, following notable bust-ups with the Manchester United manager Beckham left to join Real Madrid for €37 million.
Real Madrid – 116 Appearances – 13 Goals
David Beckham enjoyed four seasons playing for the Galacticos in the Madrid sun. In his first season, he was a regular first team player contributing five goals in 32 appearances. Aside from winning the Supercopa, it was a poor season for Real, with no big trophy to their name.
Much of Beckham’s time at Madrid was covered in controversy. Real Madrid has a number of different managers during Beckham’s stint in all white, as well as a bitter club presidential election that left the team very unsettled.
It wasn’t until his final season in 2006/7 where he got his hands on major silverware, helping Madrid win La Liga and piping bitter rivals Barcelona to the post on the last day. Beckham had been instrumental in the run up to that league win, providing numerous assists for big last minute goals. Unfortunately, his last game ended with injury although the day was sweetened when lifting the league trophy.
Again, David Beckham left the club in controversy having agreed a landmark deal to join MLS team LA Galaxy.
La Galaxy – 98 Appearances – 18 Goals
At the time, Beckham’s move to the MLS was a bit of a shock. The league was fairly up and coming and many saw the move as a major step down. Looking back, Beckham trailblazer legendary players ending their careers in the US, with big names such as Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard following suit in years to come.
During his time at LA Galaxy, Beckham won two MLS Cups, proving that his presence in the team justified the commercial investment from the club. Alongside this, the team won their conference division and made the playoffs three times in a very successful period for the englishman.
During his final years with LA Galaxy, Beckham utilised his time in the off-season to play for Italian giants AC Milan making a combined 29 appearances and contributing two goals.
He ended his playing career with French club Paris Saint-Germain, making 10 appearances in a title winning season before retiring from the sport.
England – 115 Appearances – 17 Goals
With 115 appearances, Beckham is England’s third highest capped player representing the country at three World Cups and two European Championships.
Despite not winning a major tournament with England, his career is seen as successful despite failing to live up to the hype alongside the rest of England’s ‘golden generation’. That England team included players such as Rooney, Gerrard, Lampard, Ferdinand, Ashley Cole and John Terry and was often tipped to be England’s best chance in decades of winning a trophy.
Alas, no trophy came but Beckham had some stand out moments in England white, including the honour of being captain a number of times alongside scoring a last minute winner to talk them to the World Cup against Greece.
Check out this beauty!
David Beckham – Style of Play
Many pundits will use the term ‘a wand of a right foot’ and it has never been more suited to David Beckham. He is renowned as one of the best strikers of a ball in the history of soccer, with his range of passes, crosses and free-kicks virtually unparalleled.
Whilst never blessed with speed, Beckham utilised his movement and knowledge of the game to beat opponents, often creating just enough space to play the killer pass or provide an inch perfect cross to set up a goal.
Beckham has been lauded by many as one of the hardest working professionals in the game, often spending hours upon hours training his passing accuracy until it reached near perfection.
Here’s a David Beckham highlight reel, sit back and enjoy one of the best ball players the game of soccer has ever seen!
David Beckham – Footballing Legacy
Beckham has done so much for the game of football off the fields as well as on it. He’s an ambassador for many sport related charities, runs a successful chain of soccer academies, plays in legends matches and part-owns a non-league English team.
Perhaps his biggest legacy is still to come, having recently set up MLS franchise Inter Miami, who will enter the MLS in 2020 and bid to win their first MLS Cup!
As a legendary player, epitomises what it means to be a ball playing midfielder. With his accurate range of passing, sublime crosses and inch perfect free-kicks, he sets the bar for young players who want their very own ‘wand of a right foot!’