David Beckham

Active - 2000 - 2017  |   Born - May 2, 1975 in Leytonstone, England  |   Genres - Sports & Recreation

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One of the few soccer players to become a household name in the United States, David Beckham has been interested in the sport since he was a child. The son of fanatical Manchester United fans, Beckham attended matches with his parents and played in youth leagues from the time he was small. He began playing for Manchester United in 1995 and shot to stardom during the 1996 season, especially gaining attention for making a goal all the way from the halfway line in a match against Wimbledon.

He stayed with Manchester United until 2002, when he took a deal to play for Real Madrid. Meanwhile, Beckham began dating Victoria Adams, also known as Posh Spice in 1997, and by 1999 they were married. The couple were complete media darlings, dominating the tabloids and followed by paparazzi everywhere. Beckham remained among the most sought-after players on earth and in 2007, he took a deal to play for the L.A. Galaxy. This would mean moving to the United States, and, as it coincided with the announcement of a planned Spice Girls reunion for his wife, the Beckhams became the subject of an NBC reality TV special, Victoria Beckham: Coming to America. Beckham also appeared in all three films in the Goal! series.

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Factsheet

  • Made his Premier League debut for Manchester United in 1995.
  • Was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003.
  • Joined Real Madrid in 2003 for four seasons.
  • In 2007, signed a five-year deal with the Los Angeles Galaxy of the MLS, with a potential payoff of $250 million.
  • Was captain of the English national squad 59 times between 1996 and 2009.
  • Has served as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador.
  • Fans have created replicas of Beckham in Bangkok (as a gold statue in a Thai Buddhist temple) and in Tokyo (as a 10-foot chocolate statue).
  • Named People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive in 2015.