|Nick Name:||Becks, Golden Balls, Dave, DB 7|
|Height:||183 cm (6' 1'')|
|Birth Day:||May 2, 1975|
|Birth Place:||London, England|
|#1||Harper Seven Beckham||Children||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#2||Cruz Beckham||Children||$1 Million (Approx.)||N/A||15||Instagram Star|
|#3||David Edward Alan Beckham||Father||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#4||Aubrey Edward Jack Beckham||Grandfather||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#6||Doris May Hamilton||Grandmother||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#8||Sandra Georgina West||Mother||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#9||Lynne Georgina Beckham||Sister||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#10||Joanne Louise Beckham||Sister||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#11||Romeo James Beckham||Son||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#12||Brooklyn Beckham||Son||$10 Million||N/A||21||Instagram Star|
|#13||Victoria Beckham||Spouse||$450 Million||N/A||46||Pop Singer|
|#14||Joanne Beckham||$5 Million - $10 Million (Approx.)||N/A||38||Instagram Star|
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
|183 cm (6' 1'')||75 kg||Blonde||Hazel||N/A||N/A|
He played pickup soccer games in Ridgeway Park, Chingford, and when he was eleven years old, he served as the Manchester United mascot for a game.
His parents were fanatical Manchester United supporters who frequently travelled 200 miles (320 km) to Old Trafford from London to attend the team's home matches. David inherited his parents' love of Manchester United, and his main sporting passion was football. He attended one of Bobby Charlton's Soccer Schools in Manchester and won the chance to take part in a training session with Barcelona, as part of a talent competition. He played for a local youth team called Ridgeway Rovers, which was coached by his father, Stuart Underwood, and Steve Kirby. Beckham was a Manchester United mascot for a match against West Ham United in 1986. Young Beckham had trials with his local club Leyton Orient, Norwich City and attended Tottenham Hotspur's school of excellence. Tottenham Hotspur was the first club he played for. During a two-year period in which Beckham played for Brimsdown Rovers' youth team, he was named Under-15 Player of the Year in 1990. He also attended Bradenton Preparatory Academy, but signed schoolboy forms at Manchester United on his 14th birthday, and subsequently signed a Youth Training Scheme contract on 8 July 1991.
Having signed for Manchester United as a trainee on 8 July 1991, Beckham was part of a group of young players, including Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes, who were coached by Eric Harrison, and helped the club win the FA Youth Cup in May 1992. Beckham scored Manchester United's second goal in the 30th minute of their 3–1 first-leg win of the final against Crystal Palace on 14 April 1992. In the second leg on 15 May, Beckham played a full 90-minutes of the fixture which ended 3–2 in favour of Manchester United and 6–3 on aggregate. Beckham's impact led to a first-team debut on 23 September 1992, as a substitute for Andrei Kanchelskis in a League Cup match against Brighton & Hove Albion. Shortly afterwards, Beckham signed as a professional on 23 January 1993.
Manchester United again reached the final of the FA Youth Cup, where they faced Leeds United. The first leg was played on 10 May 1993, where Beckham started in Manchester United's 2–0 home loss but was replaced by substitute Robbie Savage. In the second leg on 13 May 1993, Beckham played the full 90 minutes of Manchester United's 2–1 defeat, which gave Leeds United a 4–1 aggregate score. Beckham also received honours with the club's reserve team when the squad won the league in 1994. In September 1994, Beckham made his first full appearance in the club's first team against Port Vale in a League Cup fixture. On 7 December 1994, Beckham made his UEFA Champions League debut, scoring a goal in a 4–0 victory at home to Galatasaray in the final game of the group stage. Despite the victory, however, they finished third out of four in their group, behind Barcelona.
Beckham returned to Manchester and made his Premier League debut for Manchester United on 2 April 1995, in a goalless draw against Leeds United. He played four times for United in the league that season, as they finished second behind Blackburn Rovers, missing out on a third successive Premier League title by a single point. He was not in the squad for the FA Cup final with Everton on 20 May, which United lost 1–0, leaving the club without a major trophy for the first time since 1989.
In his early Manchester United career, Beckham lived in a four-bedroom house in Worsley that he bought directly from the property developer as a 20-year-old in 1995. In 1999, shortly after his wedding he and Victoria bought a country house set in 24 acres (10 hectares) in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, which the media nicknamed "Beckingham Palace".
At the beginning of the 1996–97 season, Beckham was given the number 10 shirt that had most recently been worn by Mark Hughes. On 17 August 1996 (the first day of the Premier League season), Beckham became something of a household name when he scored a spectacular goal in a match against Wimbledon. With United leading 2–0, Beckham noticed that Wimbledon's goalkeeper Neil Sullivan was standing a long way out of his goal, and hit a shot from the halfway line – 57 yards out – that floated over the goalkeeper and into the net.
Beckham made his first appearance for the England national team on 1 September 1996, in a World Cup qualifying match against Moldova. In June 1997, he participated in the Tournoi de France, the friendly international football tournament held in France as a warm-up to the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
In 1997, Beckham started dating Victoria Adams, after she attended a Manchester United match. She was famously known as "Posh Spice" of the pop music group Spice Girls, one of the world's top pop groups at the time, and his team was also enjoying a great run of success. Therefore, their relationship instantly attracted a great deal of media attention. The couple were dubbed "Posh and Becks" by the media. He proposed to her on 24 January 1998 in a restaurant in Cheshunt, England.
Beckham played in central midfield in United's win over Bayern Munich in the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final, as United's first string centre-midfielders Paul Scholes and Roy Keane were suspended for the match. United were losing the match 1–0 at the end of normal time, but won the trophy by scoring two goals in injury time. Both of the goals came from corners taken by Beckham. Those crucial assists, coupled with great performances over the rest of the season, led to him finishing runner up to Rivaldo for 1999's European Footballer of the Year and FIFA World Player of the Year awards.
On 4 July 1999, they married at Luttrellstown Castle in Ireland. Beckham's teammate Gary Neville was the best man, and the couple's infant son, Brooklyn, was the ring bearer. The media were kept away from the ceremony, as the Beckhams had an exclusive deal with OK! Magazine, but newspapers were still able to obtain photographs showing them sitting on golden thrones. 437 staff were employed for the wedding reception, which was estimated to have cost £500,000.
By the early 2000s, the relationship between Ferguson and Beckham had begun to deteriorate, possibly as a result of Beckham's fame and commitments away from football. In 2000, Beckham was given permission to miss training to look after his son Brooklyn, who had gastroenteritis, but Ferguson was furious when Victoria Beckham was photographed at a London Fashion Week event on the same night, claiming that Beckham would have been able to train if Victoria had looked after Brooklyn that day. He responded by fining Beckham the maximum amount that was permitted (two weeks' wages – then £50,000) and dropping him for a crucial match against United's rivals Leeds United. He later criticised Beckham for this in his autobiography, claiming he had not been "fair to his teammates" Beckham had a good season for his club, though, and helped United to win the Premier League by a record margin.
The abuse that Beckham was receiving from English supporters peaked during England's 3–2 defeat by Portugal in Euro 2000, a match where Beckham set up two goals, when a group of England supporters taunted him throughout the match. Beckham responded by raising his middle finger and, while the gesture attracted some criticism, many of the newspapers that had previously encouraged his vilification asked their readers to stop abusing him.
On 15 November 2000, following Kevin Keegan's resignation as England manager in October, Beckham was promoted to team captain by the caretaker manager Peter Taylor, and then kept the role under new manager Sven-Göran Eriksson.
His only red card with Manchester United came on 6 January 2000, in the 2000 FIFA Club World Championship against Necaxa. During his time at Real Madrid, he amassed 41 yellow cards and four red cards in La Liga; he also received a red card in a Copa del Rey match against Valencia on 21 January 2004, in Madrid. His only red card with LA Galaxy came on 15 August 2009, in a 2–0 home defeat to Seattle Sounders in the MLS. He received one red card while at Paris Saint-Germain – picked up in injury time – in a match against Evian on 28 April 2013. Between 2000 and 2013, Beckham played 572 competitive games for England, Milan, LA Galaxy, Manchester United, Real Madrid and PSG, and he received nine red cards — one every 63–64 matches, on average.
Beckham played a major role in helping England qualify for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, starring in an impressive 5–1 victory over Germany in Munich. The final step in Beckham's conversion from villain to national hero happened in England's final qualifying game against Greece on 6 October 2001. England needed to win or draw the match to qualify outright for the World Cup, but were losing 2–1 with little time remaining. When Teddy Sheringham was fouled eight yards outside the Greek penalty area, England were awarded a free-kick and Beckham ensured England's qualification with a curling strike of the kind that had become his trademark. Beckham was voted the BBC Sports Personality of the Year for 2001, and finished runner-up, to Luís Figo of Portugal, for the FIFA World Player of the Year award.
His goal celebration saw him raise his arms and walk away smiling rather than run as he often would. In a UK poll conducted by Channel 4 in 2002, the British public voted the goal No.18 in the list of the 100 Greatest Sporting Moments. In a 2016 Sky Sports poll it was ranked the best opening day goal in Premier League history. During the 1996–97 season, Beckham became an automatic first-choice player at Manchester United, helping them to retain the Premier League title, and was voted PFA Young Player of the Year by his peers. Prior to the 1997–98 season, Beckham inherited the number 7 shirt, a number previously worn by such United greats as George Best and Eric Cantona. Manchester United started the season well but erratic performances in the second half of the season saw United finish second behind Arsenal.
On 10 April 2002, Beckham was injured during a Champions League match against Deportivo de La Coruña, breaking the second metatarsal bone in his left foot. There was speculation in the British media that the injury might have been caused deliberately, as the player who had injured Beckham was Argentine Aldo Duscher, and England and Argentina were due to meet in that year's World Cup. The injury prevented Beckham from playing for United for the rest of the season and they missed out on the Premier League title to Arsenal (also being knocked out of the Champions League by Bayer Leverkusen on away goals in the semi-finals), but he signed a three-year contract in May, following months of negotiations with the club, mostly concerning extra payments for his image rights. The income from his new contract, and his many endorsement deals, made him the highest-paid player in the world at the time. Despite the season being curtailed with injury, 2001–02 was one of Beckham's best seasons as a United player; he scored 16 goals in all competitions, the best of his career.
Beckham became known as a fashion icon, and together with Victoria, the couple became lucrative spokespeople sought after by clothing designers, health and fitness specialists, fashion magazines, perfume and cosmetics manufacturers, hair stylists, exercise promoters, and spa and recreation companies. One example is a line of aftershave and fragrances called David Beckham Instinct. In 2002, Beckham was hailed as the ultimate "metrosexual" by the man who invented the term and has been described as such by numerous other articles since. The various iconic hairstyles he sported throughout his career – including a buzz cut, a Mowhawk, and a ponytail – were widely covered in the media.
Beckham never personally appeared in the 2002 film Bend It Like Beckham, except in archive footage. He and his wife wanted to make cameo appearances, but scheduling proved difficult, so the director used lookalike Andy Harmer instead.
Following an injury early in the 2002–03 season, Beckham was unable to regain his place on the Manchester United team, with Ole Gunnar Solskjær having replaced him on the right side of midfield. His relationship with his manager deteriorated further on 15 February 2003 when, in the changing room following an FA Cup defeat to Arsenal, a furious Alex Ferguson threw or kicked a boot that struck Beckham over the eye, causing a cut that required stitches. The incident led to a great deal of transfer speculation involving Beckham, with bookmakers offering odds on whether he or Ferguson would be first to leave the club. Although the team had started the season badly, their results improved greatly from December onwards and they won the league, with Beckham managing a total of 11 goals. He was still a first-choice player for England, however, and in the Queen's Birthday Honours List he was appointed an OBE for services to football on 13 June 2003.
As the summer 2003 transfer window approached, Manchester United appeared keen to sell Beckham to Barcelona and the two clubs even announced that they reached a deal for Beckham's transfer, but instead he joined reigning Spanish champions Real Madrid for €37 million on a four-year contract. Beckham was the latest signing in the Galácticos era of global stars signed by club president Florentino Pérez every summer. The news came as a bitter blow to the newly elected Barcelona president Joan Laporta, who based much of his presidential campaign on signing Beckham. Though announced in mid-June, the transfer was completed on 1 July 2003, making him the third Englishman to play for the club, after Laurie Cunningham and Steve McManaman. Following a successful medical on 2 July, Beckham was unveiled in front of 500 accredited journalists from 25 countries at Real's basketball facility, where he was handed the famous white shirt by club legend Alfredo Di Stéfano. Although Beckham had worn the number seven shirt for Manchester United and England, he was unable to wear it at Madrid as it was assigned to club captain Raúl. He decided to wear number 23 instead, citing his admiration of basketball player Michael Jordan, who also wore the number 23 shirt, as the reason behind his decision.
Beckham's many endorsement deals make him one of the most recognisable athletes throughout the world. Having worn Adidas football boots from the start of his career (notably Adidas Predator), in 2003 he signed a $160 million lifetime contract with Adidas, earning nearly half the money upfront, and will continue to earn percentages of profits on all of his branded Adidas products. He had a 10-year collaboration with PepsiCo that expired in 2009. He has also promoted The Walt Disney Company theme parks.
Real Madrid were runners-up in the Copa del Rey, were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League at the quarter-final stage and finished the league season in fourth place, meaning the team, whose president Pérez expected them to win either the Spanish league or the Champions League each season, did not match expectations. In July 2004, while Beckham was in pre-season training in Spain, an intruder scaled a wall at the Beckham home while carrying a can of petrol. Victoria and their children were in the house at the time, but security guards apprehended the man before he reached the house.
The league season began with new head coach José Antonio Camacho at the helm, but he ended up lasting only three matches, handing in his resignation as Real dropped to eighth spot in the La Liga standings. Camacho's assistant Mariano García Remón took over on temporary basis as Real's leadership scrambled to find a permanent replacement. Beckham made more headlines on 9 October 2004 when he admitted intentionally fouling Ben Thatcher in an England match against Wales to get himself booked. Beckham was due to receive a one-match suspension for his next caution, and had picked up an injury which he knew would keep him out of England's next match, so he deliberately fouled Thatcher to serve his suspension in a match that he would have had to miss anyway. The Football Association asked Beckham for an explanation of his actions and he admitted that he had "made a mistake" and apologised. He was sent off shortly afterwards, this time in a league match for Real Madrid against Valencia. Having received a yellow card, he was judged to have sarcastically applauded the referee and was given a second yellow card, causing an automatic dismissal, although the suspension was cancelled on appeal.
By Christmas 2004, with the team sitting in second position in the league, García Remón was dismissed, and Vanderlei Luxemburgo became the new head coach. However, the well-travelled Brazilian failed to inspire the team to the title as Real again finished the season in second position. On 3 December 2005, Beckham was sent off for the third time that season in a league match against Getafe CF. A day later Luxemburgo was sacked and was replaced by Juan Ramón López Caro. By the end of that season, Beckham led La Liga in number of assists.
In April 2004, the British tabloid News of the World carried claims by Beckham's former personal assistant Rebecca Loos that he and Loos had an extramarital affair. A week later, the Malaysian-born Australian model Sarah Marbeck claimed that she had slept with Beckham on two occasions. Beckham dismissed both claims as "ludicrous".
Beckham became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in January 2005 and was involved in promoting London's successful bid for the 2012 Olympic Games. In October 2005, Beckham's sending off against Austria made him the first England captain to be sent off and the first player to be sent off twice while playing for England. He captained England for the 50th time in a friendly international against Argentina the following month.
Earlier in his career, Beckham's discipline during matches was brought into question on occasion in the media, due to his temper, as well as his tendency to commit rash challenges and pick up unnecessary bookings. Beckham was the first England player ever to collect two red cards, and the first England captain to be sent off. Beckham's most notorious red card was during the 1998 World Cup after Argentina's Diego Simeone had fouled him: Beckham, lying face down on the pitch, kicked out at the Argentine midfielder, who fell dramatically. Along with Wayne Rooney, he holds the record for the most red cards for England at international level. His second red card for England came on 8 October 2005, in a 2006 World Cup qualifier against Austria in Manchester.
In 2005, Beckham founded the David Beckham Academy football school, operating from two sites, in London and Los Angeles. It was announced in late 2009 that both would close. A mobile academy is being developed by Beckham, to travel around the UK and further afield.
Beckham has supported UNICEF since his days at Manchester United and in January 2005, the English national team captain became a Goodwill Ambassador with a special focus on UNICEF's Sports for Development program. In 2012, he met with UK Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street to call for more action to help children affected by malnutrition around the world. In 2015, his tenth year as a UNICEF Ambassador, Beckham launched 7: The David Beckham UNICEF Fund to help protect children in danger. In June 2015 he visited Siem Reap in Cambodia, where he met with child victims of violence. Beckham has pledged his support for the Unite for Children, Unite Against AIDS campaign. He is a former patron of the Elton John AIDS Foundation. In 2013, he also donated all his £3.4 million salary taken from Paris Saint-Germain to two children's charities in France. Beckham has been supporting the charity named Help For Heroes for many years whose aim is to help soldiers injured in Iraq and Afghan wars.
Beckham makes a cameo appearance with Zinedine Zidane and Raúl, in the 2005 film Goal!. Harmer also doubled for him in the party scene. Beckham himself appears in the sequel Goal II: Living the Dream in a larger role, when the film's lead character gets transferred to Real Madrid. This time, the story centres on the Real Madrid team, with other Madrid players also appearing on and off the pitch, alongside the fictional characters. Though the use of stock footage from the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Beckham appeared in Goal III: Taking on the World, which was released straight to DVD on 15 June 2009.
During the season, Beckham established football academies in Los Angeles and east London and was named a judge for the 2006 British Book Awards. Real Madrid finished second to Barcelona in the 2005–06 La Liga, albeit with a large 12-point gap, and only reached the last 16 in the Champions League after losing to Arsenal. The season also marked the end of an era for the club as Pérez resigned his post as president in January 2006, with Vicente Boluda named as replacement on an interim basis until the end of the season.
The summer 2006 off-season marked a turbulent time as the club's presidential elections were held. Ramón Calderón became the new Real president. As expected, none of the club officials who served under the previous president was kept, including head coach López Caro. Initially out of favour with newly arrived head coach Fabio Capello, Beckham started only a few games at the beginning of the season, as the speedier José Antonio Reyes was normally preferred on the right wing. Of the first nine matches Beckham started, Real lost seven. On 10 January 2007, after prolonged contractual negotiations, Real Madrid's sporting director Predrag Mijatović announced that Beckham would not remain at Real Madrid after the end of the season. However, he later claimed that he was mistranslated and that he actually said that Beckham's contract had not yet been renewed.
In England's opening game at the 2006 World Cup, against Paraguay on 10 June 2006, Beckham's free kick led to an own-goal by Carlos Gamarra as England won 1–0. In England's next match, played against Trinidad and Tobago on 15 June 2006, Beckham's cross in the 83rd minute led to a Peter Crouch goal, which put England into the lead 1–0. Beckham gave another assist to Steven Gerrard. In the end they won 2–0. He was named Man of the Match by tournament sponsor Budweiser.
Having stepped down as captain after the World Cup, Beckham was dropped completely from the England national team selected by new coach Steve McClaren on 11 August 2006. McClaren claimed that he was "looking to go in a different direction" with the team, and that Beckham "wasn't included within that." McClaren said Beckham could be recalled in future. Shaun Wright-Phillips, Kieran Richardson, and the World Cup alternative to Beckham, Aaron Lennon, were all included, although McClaren eventually opted to employ Steven Gerrard in that role.
Beckham has several eponymous video games, including Go! Go! Beckham! Adventure on Soccer Island, a platform game for the Game Boy Advance, and David Beckham Soccer, a football game for a number of platforms, and he was brand ambassador for exercise video game EA Sports Active 2. Beckham featured in EA Sports' FIFA video game series; he was on the cover for the UK edition of FIFA 98. During his playing career (which ended in May 2013), Beckham generated an estimated £1 billion in shirt and boot sales. In 2006, Lloyd's of London insured his legs for £100m, at the time he was playing for Real Madrid.
On 11 January 2007, Beckham announced that he had signed a five-year deal to play for the LA Galaxy beginning 1 July 2007. On 13 January 2007, Fabio Capello said that Beckham had played his last game for Real Madrid, although he continued to train with the team. A few days later, while speaking to the students at Villanueva University Center in Madrid, Calderón said that Beckham is "going to Hollywood to be half a film star", adding "our technical staff were right not to extend his contract, which has been proved by the fact that no other technical staff in the world wanted him except Los Angeles".
About a month later, however, Capello backtracked on his earlier statement, allowing Beckham to rejoin the team for the match against Real Sociedad on 10 February 2007. The player immediately repaid his head coach's trust by scoring the equalising goal from a 27-yard free kick, as Real Madrid eventually recorded a 2–1 victory. In his final UEFA Champions League appearance for the club, Real Madrid were knocked out of the competition by Bayern Munich at the round-of-16 stage (on the away goals rule) on 7 March 2007. Beckham played a pivotal role in all three Madrid goals in the home game, with Bayern goalkeeper Oliver Kahn describing his performance as "world class".
On 17 June 2007, the last day of the La Liga season, Beckham started in his final match for the club, a 3–1 win over Mallorca which saw them clinch the title from Barcelona. With Real down 0–1, Beckham limped off the field and was replaced by José Antonio Reyes, who scored two goals, leading the team to that season's La Liga title, their first since Beckham had signed with them and 30th overall in the club's history. Although Real and Barçelona both finished level on points, Madrid took the title because of their superior head-to-head record, capping a remarkable six-month turnaround for Beckham. With his wife and children, along with celebrity friends Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, watching from a luxury box at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, it was only Beckham's second piece of silverware since he joined the famous club.
Beckham's involvement with Major League Soccer (MLS) began while he was still a Real Madrid player when it was confirmed on 11 January 2007 that he would be leaving Madrid in six months to join MLS side LA Galaxy. The speculation about his new contract in Madrid was thus put to an end and the following day Beckham's official press conference was held in conjunction with the 2007 MLS SuperDraft.
In the months following the announcement, the additional terms of Beckham's contract became public knowledge. One unique contract provision was giving him the option of buying an MLS expansion franchise in any market except New York City at the fixed price of $25 million whenever he stopped playing in the league – an allowance that the league's owners had never given to a player before. Another provision was the opt-out clause after the 2009 season, meaning that should he decide so, Beckham was free to leave the club after completing year three of his five-year contract. The league had a salary cap in place, requiring the creation of the Designated Player Rule for Beckham to bypass the cap; the rule was later nicknamed in his honor. In April 2007, he and wife Victoria bought an $18.2 million home on San Ysidro Drive in Beverly Hills.
On 26 May 2007, McClaren announced that Beckham would be recalled to the England squad for the first time since stepping down as their captain. Beckham started against Brazil in England's first match at the new Wembley Stadium and put in a positive performance. In the second half, he set up England's goal converted by captain John Terry. It looked as though England would claim victory over Brazil, but newcomer Diego equalised in the dying seconds. In England's next match, a Euro 2008 qualifier against Estonia, Beckham sent two trademark assists for Michael Owen and Peter Crouch, helping England to prevail 3–0. Beckham had assisted in three of England's four total goals in those two games, and he stated his desire to continue to play for England after his move to Major League Soccer.
On 22 August 2007, Beckham played in a friendly for England against Germany, becoming the first to play for England while with a non-European club team. On 21 November 2007, Beckham earned his 99th cap against Croatia, setting up a goal for Peter Crouch to tie the game at 2–2. Following the 2–3 loss, England failed to qualify for the Euro 2008 Finals. Despite this, Beckham said that he has no plans to retire from international football and wanted to continue playing for the national team. After being passed over by new England coach and Beckham's former manager at Real Madrid, Fabio Capello, for a friendly against Switzerland which would have given him his hundredth cap; Beckham admitted that he was not in shape at the time, as he had not played a competitive match in three months.
Beckham maintained his training routine at Real Madrid and even when his relationship with management was strained in early 2007, Real Madrid president Ramón Calderón and manager Fabio Capello praised Beckham for maintaining his professionalism and commitment to the club. Beckham's Real Madrid teammate Roberto Carlos regarded Beckham to be the best free-kick exponent he had ever seen. Two of the best free kick exponents of their generation, Roberto Carlos commented on the dilemma the team faced when they won a free kick on the edge of the penalty area: "I would stand on one side and Beckham on the other but I wanted to see Beckham take the free-kick because it's beautiful how he hits the ball." During Beckham's time with Milan, his manager Ancelotti praised the Englishman for his intelligence and work-rate, in particular the improvements he demonstrated to the technical and tactical aspects of his game, which allowed him to compensate for his loss of pace.
Despite his success, popularity, and playing ability, critical reception of Beckham was often divided among sporting figures and fans throughout his career, in part – as Subhankar Mondal of Goal.com notes – due to his ventures off the pitch and the widespread coverage that his personal life received. His former Manchester United manager, Alex Ferguson, speculated in 2007 that Beckham's increasing celebrity status, in particular following his highly publicised relationship with his future wife Victoria, had actually had a negative impact on his playing career. In 2015, moreover, he claimed he had only coached four world class players throughout his time at United, excluding Beckham from the list, commenting: "I don't mean to demean or criticise any of the great or very good footballers who played for me during my 26-year career at United, but there were only four who were world class: Cantona, Giggs, Cristiano Ronaldo and Scholes."
The Beckhams were paid $13.7 million in 2007 to launch his fragrance line in the United States In the world of fashion, David has already appeared on the covers of many magazines. United States covers have included the men's magazine Details, and with his wife for the August 2007 issue of W. According to Google, "David Beckham" was searched for more than any other sports topic on their site in 2003 and 2004. According to Ask Jeeves, Beckham ranked third, after Britney Spears and Osama bin Laden, among subjects most searched for by British users of that site in the first decade of the 2000s.
Upon their arrival in Los Angeles on 12 July 2007, the night before Beckham's formal introduction, Los Angeles International Airport was filled with paparazzi and news reporters. On the next night, Victoria appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to talk about their move to LA, and presented Leno with a number 23 Galaxy jersey with his own name on the back. Victoria also talked about her NBC TV show Victoria Beckham: Coming to America. On 22 July, a private welcoming party was held for the couple at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. A-list celebrities attending included Steven Spielberg, Jim Carrey, George Clooney, Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Oprah Winfrey.
On 17 January 2007, Rebecca Johnstone, a 19-year-old cancer patient from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, received a surprise phone call from Beckham. After the conversation, he sent her a Real Madrid jersey with his signature on it. Rebecca died on 29 January 2007. On 1 July 2007, Beckham appeared as a speaker at the Concert for Diana held at Wembley Stadium, London to celebrate the life of Princess Diana almost 10 years after her death. Proceeds from the concert went to Diana's charities as well as to charities of which her sons Princes William and Harry are patrons.
Since joining Major League Soccer, Beckham has been a very public advocate in the United States for related charities such as "MLS W.O.R.K.S." On 17 August 2007, he conducted a youth clinic in Harlem, along with other current and former MLS players. This was in advance of his first New York City area match the following day against the New York Red Bulls. That team's Jozy Altidore and Juan Pablo Ángel were also with Beckham, teaching skills to disadvantaged youth to benefit FC Harlem Lions.
Beckham trained with Arsenal from 4 January 2008 for three weeks until he returned to the Galaxy for pre-season training. Beckham scored his first league goal with the Galaxy on 3 April against the San Jose Earthquakes in the ninth minute. On 24 May 2008, the Galaxy defeated the Kansas City Wizards 3–1, giving the Galaxy their first winning record in two years and moving the club into first place in the Western Conference. In the match, Beckham scored an empty-net goal from 70 yards out. The goal marked the second time in Beckham's career that he had scored from his own half, the other being a 1996-goal from the half-way line against Wimbledon at Selhurst Park. Overall, however, the Galaxy had a disappointing year, failing to qualify for the end-of-season play-offs.
In 2008, Beckham's success in the England national team under Fabio Capello led to speculation that he might return to Europe to retain match fitness for the World Cup qualifying matches in 2009. On 30 October 2008, Milan announced that Beckham was to join them on loan from 7 January 2009. Despite this and other speculation, Beckham made it clear that the move in no way signalled his intent to leave MLS and announced his intent to return to the Galaxy in time for the start of the 2009 season in March. Many at Milan both within and outside of the club expressed serious reservations about the transfer, with it considered by some players no more than a marketing move.
Beckham was unveiled at Milan's training facility by the club's chief executive Adriano Galliani on 20 December 2008. The player chose the number 32 shirt previously worn by Christian Vieri, as both the number 7 and 23 shirts were already used by Alexandre Pato and club vice captain Massimo Ambrosini, respectively. The day after his unveiling, Beckham was brought to San Siro where he got introduced to home fans by walking out on the pitch before the league match versus Udinese and proclaiming "Forza Milan" over the public address system. Afterwards, he and wife Victoria watched from a luxury box as Milan won 5–1.
On 20 March 2008, Beckham was recalled to the England squad by Capello for the friendly against France in Paris on 26 March. Beckham became only the fifth Englishman to win 100 caps. Capello had hinted on 25 March 2008 that Beckham had a long-term future in his side ahead of crucial qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup.
On 11 May 2008, Capello included an in-form Beckham in his 31-man England squad to face the United States at Wembley Stadium on 28 May before the away fixture with Trinidad and Tobago on 1 June. Beckham – who wore a pair of golden boots to mark the occasion – was honoured before the match by receiving an honorary gold cap representing his 100th cap from Bobby Charlton, and was given a standing ovation from the crowd. He played well and assisted John Terry on the match-winning goal. When substituted at half-time for David Bentley, the pro-Beckham crowd booed the decision. In a surprise move, Capello handed Beckham the captaincy for England's friendly against Trinidad and Tobago on 1 June 2008. The match was the first time since the 2006 World Cup that Beckham had skippered England and marked a dramatic turnaround for Beckham. In two years, he had gone from being dropped completely from the England squad to being reinstated (though temporarily) as England captain.
Known by the nickname "Golden Balls", Beckham acquired the name from Victoria, who revealed it on national TV in 2008 while praising him for rebuilding his reputation after the 1998 World Cup.
Playing on the squad led by the 26-year-old superstar Kaká in addition to several other world-class players at or near the peak of their careers – 28-year-old Ronaldinho, and 29-year-old Andrea Pirlo – as well as club veterans Paolo Maldini, Clarence Seedorf, Massimo Ambrosini, Giuseppe Favalli, Gianluca Zambrotta, Filippo Inzaghi and Andriy Shevchenko, Beckham made his competitive debut for the rossoneri in Serie A as a starter away at Roma on 11 January 2009, playing 89 minutes of the 2–2 draw in front of 53,444 at the Stadio Olimpico. Playing his first competitive match in almost three months, Beckham gave a decent performance in right midfield alongside Pirlo. Though clearly lacking match fitness, occasionally struggling to keep up in a high-tempo match, Beckham put in enough useful crosses and corners to justify the coach Carlo Ancelotti's decision to play him from the start. In Beckham's home debut against Fiorentina a week later, he turned in another understated performance on the right side of midfield before advancing into a more active central role in the second half thus effectively taking over Seedorf's role after the Dutchman was subbed off. Milan won 1–0 courtesy of Pato, but the 65,000+ San Siro crowd mostly focused on Kaká, imploring him to stay.
After his return from Milan, many LA fans showed dislike and anger towards him as he missed the first half of the season and several held up signs saying "Go home fraud", and "Part-time player". The Galaxy, however, had a much more successful season than in previous years, rising from third to first in the Western Conference during Beckham's time with them. He remained a key part of the squad which saw Galaxy win the 2009 Western Conference final after a 2–0 overtime victory over the Houston Dynamo. In the final on 22 November 2009, the Galaxy lost to Real Salt Lake by 5–4 in a penalty shoot-out after a 1–1 draw. Beckham also scored in the shootout.
In November 2009, after the end of 2009 MLS season, it was confirmed that Beckham would return to Milan for a second loan period beginning in January 2010. On 6 January 2010, Beckham made a winning return in a Milan shirt, playing 75 minutes of a 5–2 victory over Genoa. On 16 February 2010, Beckham played against Manchester United for the first time since he left the club in 2003. He played 76 minutes of the match at the San Siro – which ended 3–2 to Manchester United – before being substituted for Clarence Seedorf.
Beckham is a founding member of the Malaria No More UK Leadership Council and helped launch the charity in 2009 with Andy Murray at Wembley Stadium. Beckham also appeared in a 2007 public service announcement for Malaria No More U.S, advertising the need for inexpensive bed nets. The TV spot aired in the United States on Fox Networks, including Fox Soccer Channel, and can also be seen on YouTube.
Beckham returned to Old Trafford for the second leg of the tie on 10 March 2010; he did not start the match, but was brought on for Ignazio Abate in the 64th minute to a positive reception from the Manchester United fans. The score was 3–0 for United at that point and the tie was all but decided. The match was the first time Beckham had played against Manchester United at Old Trafford and saw him create several scoring opportunities via crosses and corner kicks, but Manchester United dominated Milan and beat them 4–0, winning the tie 7–2. Following the final whistle, he aroused a bit of controversy by draping the green-and-gold scarf around his neck that was given to him by the Manchester United supporters protesting against club owner Malcolm Glazer. As the fan protests against Glazer by the people gathered around Manchester United Supporters' Trust gained steam in 2010, the green-and-gold scarf had come to be seen as an anti-Glazer symbol, and by extension many saw Beckham's decision to publicly put it on as gesture of support. When asked about it later, however, Beckham responded that protests are not his business.
In Milan's next game, against Chievo, Beckham suffered a torn left Achilles tendon, causing him to miss the World Cup as well as the MLS season due to the injury, which took him out of action for the next five months. Doctor Sakari Orava performed surgery on Beckham's tendon in Turku, Finland, on 15 March 2010. After the operation, Orava affirmed that, "it went quite fine. The prognosis is he needs a rehabilitation for the next few months, and the plaster cast is the next six to eight weeks. I would say that [it will be] maybe four months before he's running, but six months before he's jumping and kicking."
On 11 September 2010, after recovering from his Achilles tendon injury, Beckham returned to the game as a substitute in the 70th minute in the Galaxy's 3–1 win over Columbus Crew. On 4 October, Beckham scored a trademark free kick in a 2–1 win over Chivas USA to mark his first goal in 2010. On 24 October, Beckham scored his second goal of the season in the Galaxy's 2–1 win over FC Dallas which secured them their second successive Western Conference title and first MLS Supporters' Shield since 2002.
During the 2010 World Cup Qualifier against Belarus in which England won 3–1 in Minsk, Beckham came off the bench in the 87th minute to earn his 107th cap making him England's third-most-capped player in history, overtaking Bobby Charlton in the process. On 11 February 2009, Beckham drew level with Bobby Moore's record of 108 caps for an English outfield player, coming on as a substitute for Stewart Downing in a friendly match against Spain. On 28 March 2009, Beckham surpassed Moore to hold the record outright when he came on as a substitute in a friendly against Slovakia, providing the assist for a goal from Wayne Rooney in the process. In all, Beckham had made 16 appearances out of a possible 20 for England under Capello until his ruptured Achilles tendon of March 2010 ruled him out of selection for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. His last game for England before injury had been on 14 October 2009 as a substitute in England's last World Cup qualifying game, which ended England 3 – 0 Belarus.
After a poor performance from England at the World Cup, Capello remained as manager but was under pressure to revamp the England squad for the imminent UEFA Euro 2012 qualification campaign. He unveiled a new team at the next England match, a home friendly game against Hungary on 11 August 2010, with Beckham still unavailable for selection but aiming for a return to playing in MLS by the following month. In the post-match interview, Capello said of the prospect of the now 35-year-old Beckham playing any future competitive matches for England, that "I need to change it. David is a fantastic player but I think we need new players for the future", referring to the new players that play in Beckham's right midfield position, including Theo Walcott and Adam Johnson, adding "This is the future of the team under Fabio Capello or another manager." He said that Beckham may be selected for one last friendly game, stating, "If he is fit, I hope we will play one more game here at Wembley so the fans can say goodbye." In response to the comments, Beckham's agent released a statement reiterating Beckham's position that he had no desire to retire from international football, and would always make himself available for selection for England if fit and if needed. He remained 10 caps short of the record number of 125 caps by goalkeeper Peter Shilton, for a player of any position. Beckham was named in the provisional squad to represent the Great Britain Olympic football team at the 2012 Olympics. He was not included in the final selection by manager Stuart Pearce.
In September 2010, Beckham announced that he was making a court application against prostitute Irma Nici and several others over claims in the magazine In Touch that he had sex with her. His court application was dismissed under US freedom of speech laws and the magazine later accepted that the allegations against Beckham were untrue.
Beckham visited Afghanistan in May 2010 for a morale-boosting visit to British troops fighting the Taliban insurgency. The appearance of Beckham as well as British Foreign Secretary William Hague and Defence Secretary Liam Fox was believed to have prompted a Taliban attack on Kandahar airfield.
After having his best season with the Galaxy to date and finishing second in the league in assists, Beckham finished his fifth MLS season on a high. On 20 November 2011, he joined an elite group of players to have won league titles in three countries, when Los Angeles won their third MLS Cup against the Houston Dynamo, winning 1–0 on a goal by captain Landon Donovan, with assists from Beckham and fellow designated player Robbie Keane.
Following the 2011 season, in which the Galaxy won their second consecutive Supporters' Shield, having the second most points in MLS history, Beckham's five-year contract with the Galaxy expired on 31 December 2011. Despite being 36, he stated that he did not intend to retire. Beckham was heavily linked with Paris Saint-Germain, but on 18 January 2012, Galaxy announced Beckham had signed a new two-year contract to remain in Los Angeles. In May 2012, Beckham and his victorious teammates were received by President of the United States Barack Obama at the White House.
Beckham played a critical part in bringing the Olympics to London in 2012, travelling with the British delegation to Singapore in 2005 for the host city selection. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics closing ceremony, Beckham, Jimmy Page and Leona Lewis represented Britain during the handover segment for the 2012 Olympics. Beckham rode a London double-decker bus into the stadium and Page and Lewis performed "Whole Lotta Love". He also featured at the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, carrying the Olympic flame to the stadium by speedboat.
On 31 January 2013, ahead of the transfer deadline it was announced that Beckham would be undergoing a medical with Paris Saint-Germain ahead of a potential move to the Ligue 1 side. Beckham signed a five-month deal with the club later that afternoon and confirmed that his entire salary during his time in Paris would be donated to a local children's charity. His PSG debut came on 24 February 2013, when he came off the bench in the 76th minute in a Ligue 1 home match against Marseille. This made him the 400th player in the history of the club. On 12 May 2013, Beckham won a fourth different top flight winners' medal after PSG beat Lyon 1–0 to claim the Ligue 1 title.
On 16 May 2013, Beckham announced that he would retire from professional football at the end of that year's French football season. Following his decision to retire at the end of the 2012–13 season, Beckham was given specially designed boots in the colours of the Union Jack to wear in his final game. These boots had the names of his wife and children stitched on to them. On 18 May 2013, Beckham was made captain in his final home game against Brest. In this game, Beckham assisted a goal by Matuidi from a corner. Beckham was subbed after 80 minutes, receiving hugs from his fellow players and manager, as well as a standing ovation from fans. PSG went on to win the game 3–1.
In May 2013, asked about how he wanted to be remembered in his retirement, Beckham said, "I just want people to see me as a hardworking footballer, someone that's passionate about the game, someone that – every time I stepped on the pitch – I've given everything that I have, because that's how I feel. That's how I look back on it and hope people will see me."
Chinese authorities appointed Beckham as global ambassador for Chinese football in March 2013. After numerous officials had been banned for match-fixing, and the Chinese Super League had failed to retain the services of well-known international names, Beckham's role was to help improve the image of the game and raise its profile both in China and abroad.
On 5 February 2014, MLS announced that Beckham had exercised his option to buy a MLS expansion team for $25 million, which he had received as part of the contract he signed with the LA Galaxy in 2007. The ownership group, led by Beckham, originally hoped the Miami-based team would begin play in 2016 or 2017. After delays getting a stadium deal completed, MLS announced in January 2018 that the team had been approved and would likely begin play in 2020. The team name and crest were revealed on 5 September. Club Internacional de Futbol Miami – more commonly known as, Inter Miami – is represented by a black crest with neon pink trimmings and herons whose legs clasp to form an "M" for Miami.
From 14 July 2013, Beckham started appearing in adverts for BSkyB advertising their Sky Sports coverage via the Sky Go app. In January 2014, Beckham appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on NBC in the U.S, and in March he made a guest appearance in the BBC's Sport Relief special of Only Fools and Horses. He was named one of GQ's 50 best dressed British men in 2015.
In March 2015 Beckham had the third highest social media rank in the world among sportspeople, behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, with over 52 million Facebook fans. He also has over 57 million Instagram followers, the fourth highest for a sportsperson, behind Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar, and the most for a person from the UK.
During the 2016 EU referendum, Beckham voiced his opposition to Brexit (the United Kingdom leaving the European Union) stating "For our children and their children we should be facing the problems of the world together and not alone. For these reasons, I am voting to remain." Beckham was announced as the new Ambassadorial president of the British Fashion Council on 11 May 2018. Prior to the June 2018 vote by FIFA member nations for selecting the hosts of the 2026 FIFA World Cup, Beckham endorsed the North American bid (Canada, Mexico and the United States).
As of 2017, Beckham had more than 50 tattoos. There are names of his sons Romeo, Cruz and Brooklyn, and of his wife Victoria. His wife's name, tattooed on his left forearm, is in Sanskrit script because Beckham thought it would be "tacky" to have it in English. However, this was misspelt as the equivalent of "Vihctoria". In his autobiography David Beckham: My Side, he said that the idea of having tattoos came to him in 1999 after his son Brooklyn was born, following a conversation on the subject of tattoos with Mel B and her then-husband, Jimmy Gulzar. Beckham said: "When you see me, you see the tattoos. You see an expression of how I feel about Victoria and the boys. They're part of me."
He has also added several tattoos that pay tribute to his daughter, Harper, as well as several tattoos with religious significance. In 2018, Beckham added to his collection with a tattoo of a solar system covering the left side of his scalp. Many of Beckham's tattoos were completed by renown Manchester-based tattoo artist Louis Molloy, who has claimed that Beckham is the ultimate tattoo customer because he "picks good stuff, he's got great skin, he feels absolutely no pain."
Beckham has played along to jokes about his voice. In a 2018 promo for Deadpool 2, Beckham is seen watching the first instalment of the film franchise in which Ryan Reynolds' character compares Beckham's voice to inhaling helium. Beckham is seen rolling his eyes at the voice jibe before receiving an apology text from Deadpool. Beckham answers his door to the antihero who presents him with milk and cookies, before Deadpool knocks again and has a bunch of helium-filled red balloons.
In January 2019 it was announced that Beckham was set to join his Class of '92 teammates as part owner of English non-league club Salford City, taking 10% of the club previously held by Peter Lim, with the deal being subject to Football Association approval. On 31 January, the club announced that the FA had approved him to become a director of the club.
On 9 May 2019, at Bromley Magistrates Court, Beckham was banned from driving for six months. He previously pleaded guilty to using a mobile phone while driving his Bentley in central London on 21 November 2018. The court heard he was photographed by a member of the public holding a phone as he drove in "slowly moving" traffic. Beckham received 6 points on his licence to add to the 6 he already had for previous speeding matters. He was also fined £750, and ordered to pay £100 in prosecution costs and a £75 surcharge fee within seven days.
Beckham's former club LA Galaxy unveiled a statue of him outside of their stadium in March 2019, the first of its kind in the MLS. He was subject of prank by his friend James Corden who presented a 'hideous' fake statue before the real one was unveiled.
The club made its MLS debut on 1 March 2020 in a 0–1 away loss to Los Angeles FC.
Currently, David Beckham is 46 years, 4 months and 20 days old. David Beckham will celebrate 47th birthday on a Monday 2nd of May 2022.
Find out about David Beckham birthday activities in timeline view here.