David Beckham's magic moments

David Beckham broke into Manchester United's first team in the 1995/96 season, winning the league title as a 21-year-old after pundit Alan Hansen's infamous early-season jibe: "You'll never win anything with kids."

Beckham was a product of Manchester United's youth system
Beckham was a product of Manchester United's youth system Credit: Aubrey Washington/EMPICS Sport

He soon became a star off the pitch, especially after his engagement to Victoria Adams (aka Posh Spice) in 1998. They married in 1999.

The Beckhams have four children: Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper
The Beckhams have four children: Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper Credit: John Giles/PA Wire

The first of Beckham's 17 England goals was a stunning trademark free-kick in a 1998 World Cup group match against Colombia.

Beckham was renowned as one of the world's best free-kick takers
Beckham was renowned as one of the world's best free-kick takers Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire.

Days later, Beckham was labelled England's pariah after he was sent off for kicking out at Argentina's Diego Simeone. England lost the match on penalties.

Beckham saw red in the second match and widely blamed for England's elimination
After his petulant act, Beckham was widely blamed for England's elimination from the World Cup Credit: Adam Butler/PA Wire

Beckham began the 1998/99 season being berated by the media and opposing fans, but he ended it a treble winner as Man Utd became the first club to win the league, FA Cup and European Cup in the same season.

Beckham starred in United's historic 1999 treble-winning campaign
Beckham starred in United's historic 1999 treble-winning campaign Credit: Phil Noble/PA Wire

Beckham scored a spectacular last-minute goal against Greece to seal England's World Cup qualification in 2001, helping him win the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year award:

Beckham's footballing stock was never higher than in 2001
Beckham's footballing stock was never higher than in 2001 Credit: Toby Melville/PA Wire.

Beckham's England redemption was complete when he scored a scored a decisive penalty against Argentina in the 2002 World Cup, but the side lost out to Brazil in the quarter-finals.

Beckham's spot-kick secured England an famous win against Argentina
Beckham's spot-kick secured England a famous win against Argentina Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Archive/

The midfielder's relationship with Man Utd manager Sir Alex Ferguson appeared to sour in 2003, when Beckham sported a gash above his eye that was reportedly caused by a flying football boot apparently kicked by an angry Ferguson.

It was rumoured that Beckham's eye injury was accidentally inflicted by his manager
It was rumoured that Beckham's eye injury was accidentally inflicted by his manager Credit: PA

Beckham left United, the club he had joined as a 14-year-old, when Ferguson sold him to Spanish giants Real Madrid for £24.5 million in 2003.

Beckham spent four seasons at Real Madrid, winning the La Liga title in 2007. Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Beckham captained England 58 times, but he stood down as skipper after more World Cup disappointment when the side lost to Portugal on penalties in 2006.

Beckham played in three successive World Cups for England
Beckham played in three successive World Cups for England Credit: Rolf Vennenbernd/DPA/Press Association Images

Becks' status as an off-the-field A-List celebrity was cemented when he left Madrid to move to Los Angeles Galaxy, with the Beckhams befriending the likes of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.

The Beckhams rubbed shoulders with Hollywood stars Tom Cruise and Will Smith in LA
The Beckhams rubbed shoulders with Hollywood stars Tom Cruise and Will Smith in LA Credit: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Beckham's international career continued to flourish, helped by two loans stints with Italian club AC Milan, and he made history in 2009 by becoming England's most capped outfield player. In total he played 115 times for his country.

Only goalkeeper Peter Shilton won more England caps than David Beckham
Only goalkeeper Peter Shilton won more England caps than David Beckham Credit: Rebecca Naden/PA Wire

The final chapter in Beckham's footballing career was a move to French side Paris Saint-Germain, where he won the league title and became the first English player to win championships in four different countries.

With Ligue 1 glory, Beckham achieved his aim of ending his career "at the top"
With Ligue 1 glory, Beckham achieved his aim of ending his career "at the top" Credit: REUTERS/Robert Pratta