Longtime Manchester United and England national team superstar David Beckham is set to retire after Paris Saint-Germain's season comes to a close.
The 38-year-old released a statement on Facebook about the decision to step away now. He talked about wanting to retire while still playing at the highest level.
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...
...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.
ESPN first reported, via Twitter, that Beckham would retire at the end of the season.
ESPN FC @ESPNFC
Former England captain David Beckham will retire from football at the end of the season.5/16/2013, 2:04:50 PM
Beckham calls it quits after one season with PSG. He also spent time with Real Madrid, AC Milan, Preston North End and Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer. In all, his legendary career spanned two decades.
Beckham made limited starts for the French side this season. It won't impact his lasting legacy, however, after he had immense success with United at the club level and captained his national team.
In fact, Beckham called leading the England squad one of his proudest achievements in a career that was filled with plenty of them (via BBC on Twitter).
BBC Sport @BBCSport
David Beckham on England: "To this day, one of my proudest achievements is captaining my country" #BeckhamRetires http://t.co/cgGpO31H035/16/2013, 2:12:26 PM
He made 115 appearances for the national team, the most by an England outfield player, according to the BBC. His constant presence on a squad prone to change illustrates the type of impact he had on English football as a whole.
The announcement comes shortly after his manager at Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson, made the decision to retire from the sidelines. Like his former boss, Beckham will go out as a champion, as both United and PSG captured league titles this season.
Beckham won six Premier League titles with United, as immortalized by the EPL Twitter account. He also captured two MLS championships with the Galaxy and a La Liga title with Real Madrid.
Premier League @premierleague
David Beckham won the Premier League 6 times at Manchester United, adding 2 FA Cups, 1 UEFA Champions League & 1 Intercontinental Cup too.5/16/2013, 2:26:57 PM
One of the best playmaking midfielders of his generation, Beckham was a constant threat on the attack. His free-kick prowess was also a sight to behold due to his ability to bend the ball around a wall with precision accuracy.
For a player known for producing magic off his boot, it should come as no surprise that even Adidas paid tribute to the legend on Twitter.
adidas Football @adidasfootball
David Beckham - always #allin http://t.co/Guqkr1jMm15/16/2013, 2:32:28 PM
Few players can match the type of impact Beckham made for England throughout his career. But if there's one thing missing from his otherwise tremendous resume, it's a World Cup title. He was never able to capture the elusive trophy.
Otherwise, his performance at both the international and club levels puts him among the most recognizable and impactful of his generation. He transformed from a talented youth player into a worldwide sensation that ranged beyond the football world.
That said, he will always be known most for his performances on the pitch. It's no coincidence he played on so many winning clubs over the years.
His final match will be on May 26 in Paris Saint-Germain's season finale against Lorient.
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