David Robert Joseph Beckham (born May 2, 1975) is a British football player born in Leytonstone, London. He is a midfielder and is noted for the quality of his crossing and ability to hit a dead ball, particularly at long-range free-kicks. He played most of his career for Manchester United F.C and is currently captain of the English national football team.

Table of contents
1 Manchester United F.C.
2 Real Madrid C.F.
3 English national team
4 Beckham's celebrity lifestyle

Manchester United F.C.

Beckham first signed a trainee's contract with United in 1991, and made his League debut in 1995, aged 19. The next year he helped the side to the Premiership and FA Cup trophies and to their dominance of domestic football. In 1998, he was part of the United team to win the "treble" - Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League. In total, Beckham scored 86 goals in 397 games for United.

Real Madrid C.F.

However, on June 17, 2003, Beckham signed a four-year contract with Real Madrid of Spain, potentially worth up to €3535 million (£2525 million, USD 41 million).

Apart from benefitting from his football ability, this transfer gives the Spanish club an opportunity to profit from merchandising, especially in the Far East, where Beckham is enormously popular, and Manchester United have until now had the lion's share of interest. It is probably no coincidence that Beckham was transferred just before Real started a far-eastern tour. At the time of the announcement of his transfer to Real Madrid, Beckham and his wife (Victoria) were on a week-long tour of Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Thailand promoting beauty products, chocolate, motor oil, and mobile phones, which it was reported would earn them more than the entire first year of his Real Madrid contract. (Western journalists are excluded from the Japanese "press conferences" organised by his sponsors because of the embarrassment they would cause him in the West).

He successfully completed the transfer on July 1 and was presented with the squad number of 23 on July 2. He is believed to have chosen the number as a tribute to his idol, Michael Jordan, who made number 23 famous with the Chicago Bulls. Real Madrid shirts bearing his name and number were sold out in Madrid on the day his transfer was completed and Real Madrid were expected to receive €624,000 for the sale of the shirts.

His transfer to Real Madrid has proven very fruitful for both Beckham and the club. Beckham scored five times in his first 16 matches (including Real's 600th goal in the European Cup/Champions League, against Olympique Marseille on 26 November 2003), a higher scoring rate than his last year at Manchester United (11 goals in 52 games). He has become a favourite of the notoriously fickle Real Madrid crowd, and established an excellent playing relationship with Ronaldo.

English national team

By 1998 he was a regular international, and travelled with the England squad to the FIFA World Cup. In the quarter-final of that competition he received a red-card for retaliation, following a foul challenge by the Argentine Diego Simeone. This act arguably cost England the game (which they lost on penalties) and the chance of advancing in the tournament. On returning home, Beckham became the target of criticism, sometimes justified (the accusation of petulance, for example) but much merely gratuitous. He received a similar vilification following his dismissal for a dangerous challenge in the World Club Championship the next year.

Following England's poor performance in the 2000 European Championship (from which Beckham was one of the few players to emerge with credit) and later poor performances, the departure of Kevin Keegan as manager saw Beckham promoted to captain, initially under caretaker manager Peter Taylor and maintained by Sven-Göran Eriksson. His leadership, mainly by example due to his fitness and workrate helped England to qualify for the 2002 World Cup Finals and an unprecedented 5-1 defeat of Germany in Munich. Meanwhile, taking the role of captain seems to have helped mature him, in both skill and temperament.

He was considered by some Manchester United fans to be too interested in playing for England, to the detriment of his performances for United.

Beckham's celebrity lifestyle

Beckham's highly publicised marriage to Spice Girl and media celebrity Victoria Adams, otherwise known as Posh Spice, has made them both popular targets for the tabloid press, which has dubbed the couple "Posh and Becks". They have two sons, Brooklyn, born March 4, 1999 and Romeo, born September 1, 2002. Beckham is well-known for his frequent hairstyle changes and has changed his hairstyle for many times after being criticised for influencing teenagers' hairstyle.

David Beckham is, according to the Google[1] search engine, the most famous sports personality in the world, however the producers of The Simpsons decided that he wasn't famous enough to make a cameo appearance in an episode of the show set in London. Also he's the most famous metrosexual.

However, he has become more well known in North America since the success of the British film Bend It Like Beckham. It is about a Sikh girl whose ambition is to be a football player because she can play like David Beckham.

In 2001, Beckham became the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

In the summer of 2003, Beckham was made an Officer in The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in Queen Elizabeth II's honours list.

In May of 2003 Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson ordered David Beckham not to wear his hair band during matches. It has been speculated that he believed it to be too effeminate.