David Beckham

David Robert Joseph Beckham was born on May 2, 1975, and is a lifelong Manchester United supporter. As a boy, he attended the Bobby Charlton Soccer School(Charlton is a Manchester United legend)and dreamed of emulating his hero Bryan Robson and wearing the famous no.7 football shirt one day. This is a model worth emulating. Beckham signed a Youth Training Scheme contract in 1991 with his beloved United. The boy wonder announced his arrival on the soccer scene in August 1996 by scoring a spectacular goal from inside his own half on the opening day of the season. Beckham was voted Young Player of the year for 1996-97, scoring an impressive eight goals in 40 appearance. Beckham scored his first goal for England during the 1988 World Cupin France vs Colombia. He had somewhat surprisingly been left out of England’s two prior games in the tournament, and the outpouring of joy after he netted one of his trademark free kicks was clear for all to see.

The undoubted low point of Beckham’s playing career came when he received his first-ever red card in 1988, for flicking his leg out at Argentina’s Diego Simeone during England’s World Cup knockout game. After being sent off, England held on 2-2 tie but would be eliminated on penalty kicks(an all too common fate for England fans). Beckham escaped the intense media scrutiny back home in England–the Daily Mirror printed a dartboard with a picture of him centered on the bull’s-eye–by going to New Yorkto be with his Spice Girl fiancée Victoria “Posh Spice” Adams. The most famous couple– seen here celebrating their engagement in early 1998–got married at Luttrellstown Castle in Ireland on July 4, 1999.

The couple’s son Brooklyn (can you guess where he was conceived?)., then four months old, was the ring bearer. And the media were kept away from the ceremony, as the Beckham had an exclusive deal with OK! Magazine, but the tabloids still manages to show them sitting on golden thrones. It is believed that 437 people were employed to staff the reception, which was estimated to have cost the best part of $1 million. Away from sports, Beckham has cultivated an image as a style icon and has never been shy to try on any outfit in the name of fashion. Brand it like Beckham, indeed. England was staring at an unthinkable home defeat to Greece back in 2001, which would have meant that World Cup qualification was uncertain. In the final minute of the match, however, Beckham stepped up to score a beautifully struck free kick, ensuring automatic passage to the finals. England was off to the World Cup, and Beckham was absolved of his previous soccer sins.

A few mouths before the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea, Beckham was injured during a Champions League match against Deportivo La Coruña, breaking the second metatarsal bone in his left foot. Suddenly all England fans became medical experts, the Sun newspaper even asked people to put their hands on a front page depicting his injury, in a spiritual attempt to heal him. It must have worked,as he battled back to fitness and scored the winner in a group against Argentina–the team he’d sent off against at the previous World Cup. Sadly for Beckham and England, they would be eliminated in the quarterfinals against eventual champion Brazil.

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