Beckham announces retirement

The former England captain has decided to bring the curtain down on his illustrious career - despite the best efforts of les Parisiens to persuade him to play on for another year
Paris Saint-Germain midfielder David Beckham has announced that he will retire from soccer at the end of the season.

The 38-year-old only moved to the French capital on a short-term contract in January but the Parisiens were hoping for the former England captain to extend his stay at the Parc des Princes for another season.

However, even though Beckham played his part in PSG ending its 18-year wait for a Ligue title, the star player has now decided to bring down the curtain on his illustrious career this summer.

"I'm thankful to PSG for giving me the opportunity to continue but I feel now is the right time to finish my career, playing at the highest level," Beckham said in a statement.

Beckham has established himself as one of the most recognizable faces in the sport during a remarkable career that has spanned two decades.

He made his name at Manchester United, winning six Premier League titles, two FA Cups and one Champions League with the Red Devils before joining Real Madrid in 2003.

"If you had told me as a young boy I would have played for and won trophies with my boyhood club Manchester United, proudly captained and played for my country over one hundred times and lined up for some of the biggest clubs in the world, I would have told you it was a fantasy. I'm fortunate to have realized those dreams," Beckham said.

Beckham lifted the La Liga trophy in his final season at the Santiago Bernabeu before shocking the soccer world by moving to the LA Galaxy, with whom he won two MLS Cups. Perhaps more significantly, though, he played a massive role in boosting soccer’s popularity in the United States.

After two loan spells with AC Milan during his time in the U.S., he eventually returned to Europe earlier this year with PSG, picking another domestic championship to become the first Englishman to win titles in four different countries.

In his homeland, though, he will probably best be remembered for his captaincy of the national team, and the trademark free kick against Greece which secured his country's qualification for the 2002 World Cup.

"To this day, one of my proudest achievements is captaining my country," Beckham said. "I knew every time I wore the Three Lions shirt, I was not only following in a long line of great players, I was also representing every fan that cared passionately about their country.

"I'm honored to represent England both on and off the pitch."