This post is courtesy of John Sinnott and originally appeared on CNN.
May 16, 2013
End it like Beckham. One of the most iconic football stars of his generation, David Beckhamis to retire at the end of the season to bring down the curtain on a glittering career.
As well as winning over 100 caps for his England and collect a bucket load of trophies in two different continents, it was his ability to maximize the power of the “Beckham brand” that allowed the footballer to transcend his sport and appeal to a worldwide mass audience.
Beckham’s marriage to former Spice Girl and fashion designer, Victoria, probably helped as well.
“Brand Beckham is dead, long live Brand Beckham!” sports business expert Simon Chadwick told CNN. “Beckham’s transition from athlete commodity to sporting statesman and entrepreneur is now complete.”
This year, Beckham became the first ever sportsman from outside of China to be invited to become the ambassador for the sport in the country.
He is estimated to be Britain’s wealthiest sportsman, earning in excess of $46 million a year, according to France Football magazine.
“I wouldn’t have achieved what I have done today without my family,” said Beckham in a statement. “I’m grateful for my parents’ sacrifice, which made me realise my dreams.
“I owe everything to Victoria and the kids, who have given me the inspiration and support to play at the highest level for such a long period.”
Beckham’s decision to retire comes days after the 38-year-old won his latest title with French club Paris Saint-Germain.
“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,” added Beckham.
The Englishman, who won the Champions League with Manchester United in 1999, also won league titles with Real Madrid, AC Milan and Los Angeles Galaxy before arriving in the French capital earlier this year after signing a short-term contract.
“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,” said Beckham.
Continue reading on CNN…