Posted on Thu May 16th, 2013 11:15am PDT By X17 Staff
David Beckham is calling it quits.
The all-star athlete is ending his 20-year soccer career and retiring form the sport after season's end. He has two games left in the current season with Paris St.-Germain.
The 38-year-old English midfielder has won Premier League titles in four countries. He's playing his final season for P.S.G. He signed a five-month contract with the French team at the beginning of the year and is donating his entire estimated $4.6 million salary to a local children's charity.
He has also competed for England with Manchester United (where the spent 10 years -- the majority of his career), Spain with Real Madrid, and America with Los Angeles Galaxy.
In a statement about his decision, Beckham said he was thankful to P.S.G. for giving him the opportunity to continue his career.
"I feel now is the right time to finish my career, playing at the highest level," he said.
Beckham, who's married to fashion designer Victoria Beckham, has had marketing campaigns with Adidas, Brylcreem, Pepsi, H&M, and Sainsbury's. Rumors have recently surfaced that he's interested in Major League Soccer club ownership.
"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," he also said in the statement. "I'm fortunate to have realized those dreams."
English Football Association chairman David Bernstein told Sports Illustrated that Beckham's retirement is a "loss to the game."
"He is an iconic figure in the game and produced wonderful performances for his clubs, particularly Manchester United,'' Bernstein said. "When you look at his playing and work for England, no one would ever accuse him of being unpatriotic and not giving everything for his country."
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