A global icon that has experienced it all. In between league titles stretched across England, Spain, USA and France, David Beckham is no stranger to the feelings of ecstasy and heartbreak. Ever since he dumbfounded football enthusiasts in 1996 with a goal from the half-way line against Wimbledon, the former galáctico has never been too far away from the public eye.
The Englishman’s career has been unparalleled. He was originally a part of Manchester United’s famous Class of ’92, named after their FA Youth Cup win in that year. But while players like Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes played out their whole careers at the club, Beckham took his footballing and celebrity skills worldwide.
‘Goldenballs’ famously fell out with manager Sir Alex Ferguson before his multi-million pound move to Real Madrid. He then was seen as one of the leading lights in transforming Major League Soccer with his marketing prowess when he moved to the States in 2007. Two loan spells at AC Milan were intertwined with his time at Los Angeles Galaxy, before a final title-winning swansong at Paris Saint-Germain ensured Beckham went out at the top.
We review the funniest and most recognisable quotes from England’s highest capped outfield player. Enjoy this selection from David Beckham.
“I would never complain about the position I'm in or the attention I get. At the end of the day, I'm very lucky to have what I have and do what I do, but I don't see myself as any different from anyone else who works hard and is a dad and a husband.”
Beckham on fame
"Well, I can play in the centre, on the right and occasionally on the left side.”
Beckham on being asked if he's a 'volatile' player
“We're definitely going to get Brooklyn christened, but we don't know into which religion.”
Beckham on his new baby
"I remember so clearly us going into hospital so Victoria could have Brooklyn. I was eating a Lion bar at the time."
Beckham on childbirth
“I still look at myself and want to improve.”
Beckham on perfection
“My parents have been there for me, ever since I was about 7.”
Beckham on upbringing
“I don’t regret the decision to retire. My body was losing its edge. I was taking longer to recover from injuries. You have to get out at some point.”
Beckham on retirement
“We’ve been asked to do ‘Playboy’ together, me and Victoria, as a pair. I don’t think I’ll ever go naked, but I’ll never say never.”
Beckham on never saying never. Ever.
“I’ll never forget where I'm from, never forget my roots. It doesn't matter where I live. I'm English, simple as that.”
Beckham on remaining loyal
"I have come to accept that if I have a new haircut it is front page news. But having a picture of my foot on the front page of a national newspaper is a bit exceptional."
Beckham on coverage of his metatarsal injury before the 2002 World Cup
“Alex Ferguson is the best manager I've ever had at this level. Well, he's the only manager I've actually had at this level. But he's the best manager I've ever had.”
Beckham speaking during his time at Manchester United
“That was in the past – we’re in the future now.”
Beckham on tenses