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David Beckham to retire from soccer at end of season

Associated Press
May 17, 2013 at 09:28am IST

London: David Beckham is retiring from soccer after the season, ending a career in which he become a global superstar since starting his career at Manchester United.

The 38-year-old Englishman recently won a league title in a fourth country with Paris Saint-Germain. He said in a statement Friday he is "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."

Beckham has two games left this season with PSG. He also played for Real Madrid and the Los Angeles Galaxy, winning titles with both those clubs as well as with United. "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 realized those dreams," Beckham said.

David Beckham to retire from soccer at end of season

The 38-year-old Englishman recently won a league title in a fourth country with Paris Saint-Germain.

On the international stage, Beckham has made 115 appearances for England's national team - a record for a player other than a goalkeeper. "To this day, one of my proudest achievements is captaining my country," Beckham said. "I knew every time I wore the Three Lions shirt, I was not only following in a long line of great players, I was also representing every fan that cared passionately about their country.

"I'm honored to represent England both on and off the pitch. ... I want to thank all my teammates, the great managers that I had the pleasure of learning from. I also want to thank the fans who have all supported me and given me the strength to succeed."

Following is his statement in full:

"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.

"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.

"To this day, one of my proudest achievements is captaining my country. I knew every time I wore the Three Lions shirt, I was not only following in a long line of great players, I was also representing every fan that cared passionately about their country. I'm honoured to represent England both on and off the pitch.

"I wouldn't have achieved what I have done today without my family. I'm grateful for my parents' sacrifice, which made me realise my dreams. I owe everything to Victoria and the kids, who have given me the inspiration and support to play at the highest level for such a long period. I also want to thank Simon Fuller and his team for their continued support.

"I want to thank all my team mates, the great managers that I had the pleasure of learning from. I also want to thank the fans who have all supported me and given me the strength to succeed.

"Nothing will ever completely replace playing the game I love, however I feel like I'm starting a new adventure and I'm genuinely excited about what lies ahead. I'm fortunate to have been given many opportunities throughout my career and now I feel it's my time to give back."

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