David Beckham OBE is an English former professional footballer. He played for Manchester United, Preston North End, Real Madrid, Milan, LA Galaxy, Paris Saint-Germain and the England national team for which he held the appearance record for an outfield player until 2016 when Wayne Rooney surpassed his total. He is the first English player to win league titles in four countries: England, Spain, the United States and France. He announced his retirement in May 2013 after a 20-year career, during which he won 19 major trophies.
Known for his range of passing, crossing ability and bending free-kicks as a right winger, Beckham was runner up in the Ballon d’Or, twice runner-up for FIFA World Player of the Year and in 2004 he was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 listof the world’s greatest living players. He was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2008. A global ambassador for the sport, Beckham is regarded as a British cultural icon.
Beckham’s professional club career began with Manchester United, where he made his first-team debut in 1992 aged 17. With United, he won the Premier League title six times, the FA Cup twice, and the UEFA Champions League in 1999. He then played four seasons with Real Madrid, winning the La Liga championship in his final season with the club. In July 2007 Beckham signed a five-year contract with Major League Soccer club LA Galaxy. While a Galaxy player, he spent two loan spells in Italy with Milan in 2009 and 2010. He was the first British footballer to play 100 UEFA Champions League games.
In international football, Beckham made his England debut on 1 September 1996 at the age of 21. He was captain for six years, earning 58 caps during his tenure. He made 115 career appearances in total, appearing at three FIFA World Cup tournaments, in 1998, 2002 and 2006, and two UEFA European Championship tournaments, in 2000 and 2004.
Beckham has consistently ranked among the highest earners in football, and in 2013 he was listed as the highest-paid player in the world, earning over $50 million in the previous 12 months. He has been married to Victoria Beckham since 1999 and they have four children. He has been a UNICEF UK ambassador since 2005, and in 2015 he launched 7: The David Beckham UNICEF Fund. In 2014, MLS announced Beckham and a group of investors would own an expansion team in Miami, which would begin in 2020.