Nobody doubts anymore that David Beckham is a role model with an enviable career. The retired soccer player (footballer) is a close friend of the British royal family and has an admirable family that has supported him no matter what. During his 20-year career, he won 20 major trophies. He was the first player to win titles in four countries; Spain, France, England and the United States.
Beckham’s Incredible Career
During his enviable career, Beckham was both the hero and the villain. He made his debut in Premier League for Manchester United when he was only 20 years old, in 1995. His passing skills and ability to score from free-kicks soon confirmed his potential as a superstar. Beckham scored some of the most beautiful goals for the British team until 2003, when he was sold to Real Madrid for over $36.5 million.
In Spain, during his four years spent in Madrid, he confirmed being one of the best football players in the world. He won the La Liga title in 2007, and then he chose to move to Major League Soccer with the LA Galaxy. Beckham caused some controversy in the U.S. but in the end, he helped the team to win a second successive Western Conference title and the MLS Cup before setting off to his last challenge before retirement.
In February 2013, the former football player made his debut in Ligue 1 as a Paris Saint-Germain team member. At the end of the French football season, Beckham decided to retire. In his last football game, he wore the captain’s armband and assisted a goal by Matuidi. He played 80 minutes, receiving a standing ovation from the fans and a lot of hugs from his colleagues and manager.
During his incredible career, Beckham was named the Most Valuable Player and Player of the Month several times. Twice he was the runner-up for FIFA World Player of the Year. He also won 20 major trophies:
- 1 FA Youth Cup (1991-92)
- 4 Community Shields (1993, 1994, 1996, 1997)
- 6 Premier League titles (1995-96, 1996-97, 1998-99, 1999-2000, 2000-01, 2002-03)
- 2 FA Cups (1995-96, 1998-99)
- 1 Champions League title (1998-99)
- 1 Intercontinental Cup (1999)
- 1 Spanish Super Cup (2003)
- 1 La Liga title (2006-07)
- 2 MLS Cups (2011, 2012)
- 1 Ligue 1 title (2012-13)
Both the Hero and the Villain of the National Team
Beckham made his debut for the Senior National team in 1996. He spent 13 years in the t-shirt of the Three Lions, he capped 115 times, and became the player with the second most appearances on the team.
On England’s national team Beckham had one of the hardest times of his career. In 1998, during a World Cup match against Argentina he received a red card, leaving his team outnumbered, which caused England’s elimination from the competition. The then, 23-year-old footballer became the target of criticism and even death threats. Despite all that, Beckham converted from villian to hero in 2001, when his free-kick goal ensured England’s qualification for the 2002 World Cup.
Beckham is a role model because he resisted the wrath of the critics that could have shaken him to the core. He never stopped trying to prove that he deserved to be remembered as one of the greatest football players of the world.
Being an Example Outside Football
Outside of football, Beckham always maintained his respectable appearance. In 1999, he married Victoria Adams with whom he has four children. As a couple, the Beckhams became fashion icons and created multiple beauty and fashion products.
Also, the former football captain is associated with numerous charity programs. He became a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF in 2005. Ten years later, he launched The David Beckham UNICEF Fund to help protect the children in danger. Moreover, he is a patron of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and he supports the Unite for Children, Unite Against AIDS campaign.
Not Avoided by Critics
Although he had an enviable career and was a role model for every young athlete, critics have not avoided him. During the years, the press has criticized Beckham and his family. However, the role model used his dignity and self-control to neutralize the rumors. He always defended his family and tried to contradict the negative news spread throughout his football career. In the end, he managed to create the beautiful image of a man capable of inspiring millions.
After all, Beckham is one of the greatest living football players of the century. Also, he is a role model that can inspire every young athlete to build a career worthy of respect. His name will also be remembered because he is involved in a lot of charity programs and runs some football development projects.
Opinion by Bianca-Ramona Dumitru
Edited by Jeanette Smith
ENCYCLOPEDIA: Notable Sports Figures: David Beckham
ESPN: David Beckham
MANUTD: Manchester United Legends: David Beckham
UEFA: Beckham’s darkest hour
UNICEF: David Beckham, Goodwill Ambassador
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