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David Beckham announces his retirement

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Major sportsman/international celebrity David Beckham has made it official that this year is his last year as an active football player. (Includes video in which he announces his retirement.) 

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Although his current team Paris Saint-Germain has offered to extend his contract, 38-year-old David Beckham says it is time to retire from the sport – while he is still at the top level of his profession. AFP


Click button to listen to Beckham retires and rightclick to download

Read the story and then watch the football megastar make it official in an interview with Sky Sports.

Beckham calls time on stellar career

LONDON (AFP) – Football megastar David Beckham announced on Thursday that he is to retire after a glittering 20-year playing career in which he became one of the most widely recognised figures in world sport.

The former England captain, 38, made the announcement shortly after winning the Ligue 1 title with French giants Paris Saint-Germain, which made him the first Englishman to win league championships in four different countries.

David Beckham celebrates after making it Manchester United 1-Charlton 0 during their Premiereship clash at Old Trafford, in Manchester, 03 May 2003. AFP

He bows out from the game at the same time as his former Manchester United mentor Alex Ferguson, who handed Beckham his professional debut in 1992 and thereby launched one of the most newsworthy careers in the history of the English game.

Beckham went on to play for Real Madrid, Los Angeles Galaxy and AC Milan, as well as PSG, and won 115 caps for England.

"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.

"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 realised those dreams."

Beckham in a match during his Real Madrid playing days. AFP

Blessed with an extraordinarily accurate right foot, Beckham was renowned for his dead-ball prowess and his seemingly limitless reserves of stamina.

He is fondly remembered for his exploits in an England shirt, having captained his country for six years and played at three World Cups.

Celebrity couple: Spice Girl Victoria Adams & David Beckham in 1999.

Beckham's global celebrity also turned him into a one-man marketing phenomenon with a glut of lucrative endorsements.

He has long-standing sponsorship deals with firms including Adidas, Armani and Samsung and is believed to share a $306 million fortune with his wife, Victoria, the pop star turned fashion designer and mother of his four children.

However, he said he wanted to be remembered as a sportsman, rather than a celebrity.

As one of Britain's most recognisable figures, Beckham also worked as an ambassador for last year's London Olympics and carried the Olympic flame to the opening ceremony in a glitzy speedboat ride down the River Thames.

He is due to play his final game for PSG on May 26.



Gary Neville: You’ve just announced your retirement, why now?

David Beckham: I think over the years, when I've seen players retire, you know, when you ask them about it, they always say you know when you’re ready and I think I know I’m ready. I think I'm ready. Obviously, it’s a difficult decision because I still feel I can play at the top level and still have done for the last six months but I always secretly said to myself I want to go out at the top and if you’d have said to me eight months ago I’d be playing in the French league, winning the French cup, winning the league and finishing like this I would have probably said ‘absolutely no chance’ but I was given the opportunity to come to PSG and I just feel now is the time.

Paris' British midfielder David Beckham celebrates after Paris Saint-Germain won the French L1 title on May 12, 2013 at the Gerland stadium in Lyon, eastern France. AFP

Neville: You think or you know?

Beckham: I think. You know, I love the game so much! You know, how much we love the game. I just feel that, I don't know. I don't know.  You know, it’s the right time. I believe it’s the right time but I’ll always feel that I could do more – that’s the problem!

Neville: When did that moment come, when did it hit you?

Beckham: Probably when Messi was running past me.. in that home game. No. When did I feel... I actually don’t know. You know, I just feel that I’ve been so lucky throughout my career. I just feel that, you know, the fact that I’ve played for the clubs that I’ve played for; the players that I’ve played with and won the trophies that I’ve won. You know, playing in the MLS last year, winning the championship there and then coming to PSG and winning the French league here, I think it’s a good way to go out.

Neville: You’ve always gone out on a high at every club – at United winning the league, Madrid, the MLS La Galaxy last year. Is that important to you what’s happened in the last few weeks with PSG, that you’ve gone out as a winner?

David Beckham and his wife with three of their children, (L-R) Romeo, Cruz and Brooklyn. AFP

Beckham: I think it’s every athlete’s dream, every footballer’s dream to go out on the top, you know, on top form or  winning a trophy. You know it doesn’t happen that often but I’ve been lucky. Obviously, when I left United we won the league; when I left Madrid we won the league; Like you said, leaving the Galaxy doing two years of winning the championship there and obviously coming here and winning the league – it’s nice to go out like that. I think people look back and it’s written, it’s simple –  you’re leaving as a champion and I think that’s why I think it’s the right time.

Neville: How do you want to be remembered as a football player and person over this past 22 years and everything that you’ve achieved? As somebody who did what and acheived what? What's most important to you?

Beckham: I just want people to see me as a hard working footballer. Someone that’s passionate about the game and someone that every time I stepped on the pitch I’ve given everything that I have because that’s how I feel. Going into games at the end of my career that’s how I look back on it and hope people see me.

Because I think over the years it’s been my life and my career. People have obviously looked at certain other things that have gone on throughout my career and I think sometimes that’s overshadowed what I’ve done on the pitch or what I’ve achieved on the pitch and that's as much as I say that doesn’t hurt me, of course it does.

At the end of the day I’m a footballer that has played for some of the biggest clubs in the world and played with some of the best players in the world; played under some of the biggest and best managers and achieved almost everything in football and I think, of course it hurts when people, not question it, but think about other things.

And to come to the end of my career now and look back and say, you know, I’ve achieved everything with every club that I’ve played for. I’ve played for my country 115 times; been runner-up World Player of the Year twice to two amazing footballers; I’m very proud of that.

current – of the present time ปัจจุบัน
extend – to add more time ยืดออกไป
retire – to stop playing a sport as a professional or serious player because you are too old, have an injury or no longer have the desire อำลาวงการ
level – a position or rank in a scale of size or importance ระดับ
profession – a type of job that needs special training or skill, especially one that needs a high level of education อาชีพ
mega- – very large or impressive  ยิ่งใหญ่, ใหญ่มาก
megastar – a very well known star in sports, entertainment, etc.
call time on – to end a job, career, or other activity, especially one which has lasted a long time
stellar – excellent แจ่มจรัส
career – a job or series of related jobs that you do, especially a profession that you spend a lot of your working life in  อาชีพ
glittering – very impressive and successful น่าประทับใจ, ซึ่งประสบความสำเร็จ
recognised – well known เป็นที่รู้จักกันดี
figure – someone who is important in some way บุคคลสำคัญ
title – the position of a winner in a sports competition  ตำแหน่งแชมป์
bow out – to exit; to leave (a job; a competition) ออกจาก
mentor – an experienced person who helps someone who has less experience, especially in their job ผู้ให้คำปรึกษา
professional – doing something as a paid job rather than as a hobby  ที่ทำเป็นอาชีพ
debut – performing for the first time การเปิดตัว
launch – to start something เริ่มต้น เริ่มทำ
newsworthy – interesting and important enough to be reported as news น่าสนใจหรือสำคัญเพียงพอที่จะนำมาเป็นรายงานข่าว
cap – a cap given to somebody who is chosen to play for a school, country, etc; a player chosen to play for their country, etc
trophy – a large silver cup or similar object given as a prize to the winner of a competition ถ้วยรางวัล
fantasy – a pleasant situation that you imagine but that is unlikely to happen  การจินตนาการ
fortunate – lucky โชคดี, เคราะห์ดี
realise – to achieve ทำให้เป็นจริง
be blessed with – to have something good such as ability, great happiness, etc
extraordinary – very unusual and surprising เกินธรรมดา, ผิดธรรมดา
accurate – to be able to throw, shoot, kick, etc. something that hits or reaches the thing that it was aimed at แม่นยำ
renown – fame and respect because of something you have done that people admire ชื่อเสียง
dead-ball – (in football) times when the football is not moving, especially in free-kick or penalty situations where the ball is placed in one spot
prowess – great skill at doing something ความสามารถยอดเยี่ยม
limitless – without a limit; very great ไม่มีขอบเขต
reserves – a supply of something that is available to be used in the future or when it is needed สิ่งที่สงนไว้
stamina – the physical or mental strength that enables you to do something difficult for long periods of time ความทรหด,ความแข็งแรง,ความแข็งแกร่ง
fondly – in a way that shows love or great liking อย่างรักใคร่,ด้วยความชอบ,อย่างงมงาย
exploit – a brave, exciting or interesting act พฤติการณ์ที่กล้าหาญ, การกระทำที่กล้าหาญ
global – throughout the world ทั่วโลก
celebrity – someone who is famous, especially in the entertainment business คนมีชื่อเสียง
phenomenon – someone or something extremely successful, often because of special qualities or abilities
glut – a situation in which there is more of something than is needed or can be used ปริมาณมากเกินต้องการ, จำนวนเหลือเฟือ
lucrative – earning a lot of money ที่มีกำไรงาม
endorsement – a statement made in an advertisement, usually by somebody famous or important, saying that they use and like a particular product
firm – a business or company บริษัท
fortune – a large amount of money เงินมากมาย
ambassador – someone who is considered to represent an activity, organization, company etc   ตัวแทน, ผู้แทน
glitzy – appearing very attractive, exciting and impressive, in a way that is not always genuine; bright, exciting, and attractive but not always having real value น่าดึงดูด, ฉูดฉาด, บาดตา
passionate – having a strong enthusiasm or interest in something  กระตือรือร้น, ซาบซึ้ง, ดูดดื่ม
pitch – an area painted with lines for playing particular sports, especially football สนามฟุตบอล
overshadow – to cause someone or something to seem less important or less happy ทำให้ลดความสำคัญลง
runner-up – winning second place in a competition รองอันดับหนึ่ง

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