David Beckham, England and Manchester United star midfielder recently joined Spanish Club Real Madrid for a record 4-year payment deal amounting to $ 41.35 million. At Manchester United he was being paid $ 150,000 a week. His club let him go because of his on-going feud with mentor and manager, Alex Ferguson. In a dressing room incident at the beginning of the season, Ferguson had kicked a boot in Beckham’s face after his club had lost to Arsenal.
Beckham, born on 2nd May 1975 at Leytonstone in East London had joined Manchester United as trainee in 1991. Prior to this he had trained at Tottenham Hotspur’s School of Excellence. He made his professional debut for Manchester United in October 1992, but had to wait till 1995,when Andrei Kanchelskis left the club, to find a permanent place for himself in the midfield. He starred in United’s double winning season of 1995-6 when they won the Premier League and FA Cup, and made the jersey-number 7 his own. On the opening day, he scored a goal from the half line, lobbing the ball over goalkeeper Neil Sullivan. The same season he made his England debut.
By the end of the 1996-7 season Beckham had established himself as a star player, winning the ‘PFA Young Player of the Year’ award. But the 1998 World Cup left him with conflicting emotions. He scored against Columbia, but was sent out with a red card for kicking Simeone in England’s penalty shootout loss against Argentina. England fans and media believed that Beckham’s red card had cost England a place in the quarterfinals.
Beckham, not to be discouraged by what his followers said of him, responded with brilliant performances for his club in 1999, helping them win the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Champions Cup. He finished second in the ‘Player of the Year’ vote. The icing on the cake was his marriage to Spice Girl, ‘Posh’ Victoria Adams.
In 2000 he captained England for the first time, and led them to World Cup qualifying wins against Germany and Greece, scoring a last minute free-kick goal against the latter. Despite a broken bone in the foot, he captained England in the 2002 World Cup, wearing specially designed shoes. England however lost to eventual winners Brazil in the quarterfinals.
Beckham prefers playing as a center midfielder, but Ferguson as well as Sven Goran Eriksson (England manager) play him on the right flank, believing that he doesn’t have the ability to control the game, but can be useful with his great free-kicks and his wicked curling crosses. He now joins Zidane, Figo, Ronaldo, Raul and Carlos in a star-studded Real Madrid squad. With Raul refusing to sacrifice jersey-number 7 for Beckham, the latter now wears 23 on his illustrious back.
Beckham and Victoria have two sons, Brooklyn and Romeo.