So today it was announced that David Beckham will be retiring from football at the end of the current season.
Firstly you have to congratulate Beckham on what has been a phenomenal career littered with league titles from right across the world, as well as the goals there have been the haircuts, the bustups; Becks truly is the modern day icon of the game.
When advertising deals sometimes supercede playing contracts, he set the precedent with deals with Adidas and Brylcreem to name just a couple.
Never afraid to take a risk in his career, you would have to say the trophy cabinet doesn’t lie with league titles in England, Spain, Italy, USA and more recently France.
The one thing that eluded Beckham was international success, even as part of England’s so-called ‘Golden Generation’ between 2002 and 2006 the team promised so much but never delivered on the biggest stages of all.
We did have the drama of the sending off and ridicule in 1998 after kicking out at Diego Simeone, before his ascension to national captain.
I was luck enough to see Beckham score one of his 17 international goals in a 2-0 victory vs Azerbaijan in 2004, in what was a largely poor game by any teams standards.
He proved a rule to his own as he left Manchester United in 2003 under a cloud after one too many bustups with Sir Alex Ferguson, moving to Real Madrid and flourishing in La Liga before the biggest risk of his career joining LA Galaxy in a move that sent shockwaves round the world.
Being on a bumper contract with sponsorship deals coming out of his ears, Beckham put the MLS on the map in footballing terms with many British sides now having a regular influx of players from across the pond.
We could go through his entire glittering career, but I wanted to keep this personal and point out my most memorable Beckham memories.
- Scoring against Aston Villa in a 3-1 defeat in 1995 with a wonderful curling effort, as part of the ‘won’t win anything with kids’ season.
- Penalty vs Argentina in 2002, the emotion of writing the wrong from four years previous just gushed out of him, in one of the finest England performances in the last 15 years.
- Goal vs Azerbaijan in 2004 in a European Championships Qualifier.
- THAT goal vs. Greece, I was working in a factory with just radio coverage and seeing people doing their little victory dances was a sight in itself.
Here’s every freekick he ever scored: