ICONIC former England captain David Beckham, the most famous footballer of his generation, has announced his retirement.
The 38-year-old was part of the Paris Saint-Germain team that won the Ligue One title last weekend and will now hang up his boots at the end of the season.
Following Beckham’s team’s triumph he becomes the first Englishman to be part of title-winning squads in four different countries, having achieved the same feat with Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy.
England’s most-capped player has decided to go out “at the top” and PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi wants Beckham to stay with the club in an ambassadorial role.
“We’re currently discussing the possibilities to continue working together at Paris Saint-Germain,” he said. “It’s an immense honour to have convinced him to join PSG last January, to have seen him put his exceptional talent at the service of the team and that his last shirt will have been ours.”
On the pitch, Beckham can add 115 international caps and two World Player of the Year award nominations to his vast array of accolades.
Such was his reputation as a dead-ball specialist, in 2002 “Bend It Like Beckham” hit cinema screens, grossing global box office figures of more than $75m.
His global superstar status largely emanates from off-field activities, such as underwear modelling and launching his own aftershave brand.
And while “brand-Beckham” is unlikely to disappear any time soon, he hopes to always be remembered fondly for his football.
“Over the years people have looked at other things that have gone on in my career and sometimes that’s overshadowed what I’ve done on the pitch,” he said.
“I hope people will remember me as a hard-working footballer, who was passionate about the game.”
■ Won the Premier League title six times with Manchester United, including the treble season of 1999 with the Champions League and FA Cup too
■ Helped the Spanish giants to win the La Liga title in 2007, in the last of his four seasons in Madrid
■ Moved to Major League Soccer from Spain and helped Galaxy win the MLS Cup in 2011 and 2012
■ Has spent less than four months in France, but helped PSG win the Ligue One title, playing 11 times in all competitions