Beckham moved to the Santiago Bernabeu in 2003 as part of Los Blancos’ famed galacticos team and claimed the La Liga title in his final season in the Spanish capital. He spent many of the latter years of his career at Los Angeles Galaxy, but returned to Europe – and Old Trafford – during a loan stint with AC Milan in 2010. Retirement in 2013 followed a five-month spell at Paris Saint-Germain.
WHAT THEY SAID
“He was extraordinary. When he first came to us he would train morning and afternoon then show up in the evening to join in with the schoolboys. At the start of each season we used to give all the players a bleep test to get a sense of their aerobic fitness, and Beckham was always off the scale. True winners are relentless. The very best players compete against themselves to become as good as they can be. They have to be dragged off the training ground.” (Sir Alex Ferguson)
“The person who has negative things to say is either jealous or hates him. Because there are no negative things to say about him.” (Zlatan Ibrahimovic, team-mate at PSG)
“David Beckham is up there with the best passers I’ve ever played with; over a long distance he was ‘radar foot’. Some left-footers look beautiful when they pass the ball. His right foot was like that – it even sounded nice when he hit the ball.” (Rio Ferdinand)