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Beckham to retire: British star will step away from pitch at season's end

Beckham to retire: After playing in Britain, France, Spain, and the US, David Beckham has decided to retire from professional soccer.

By Rob HarrisAssociated Press / May 16, 2013

Beckham to retire: In this 2012 file photo, Los Angeles Galaxy's David Beckham fixes his tie during a news conference in Los Angeles. Beckham says he is retiring from soccer at the end of the season.

Jae C. Hong/AP/File

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London

David Beckham is retiring from soccer after the season, ending a career in which he become a global superstar since starting his career at Manchester United.

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The 38-year-old Englishman recently won a league title in a fourth country with Paris Saint-Germain. He said in a statement Friday he is "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 has two games left this season with PSG. He also played for Real Madrid and the Los Angeles Galaxy, winning titles with both those clubs as well as with United.

"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.

On the international stage, Beckham has made 115 appearances for England's national team — a record for a player other than a goalkeeper.

"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. ... I want to thank all my teammates, the great managers that I had the pleasure of learning from. I also want to thank the fans who have all supported me and given me the strength to succeed."

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