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Beckham's professional career began with Manchester United, making his first-team debut in 1992 aged 17.
With United, Beckham won the Premier League title six times, the FA Cup twice, and the UEFA Champions Leaguein 1999.
He then played four seasons with Real Madrid, winning the La Liga championship in his final season with the club.
In July 2007 Beckham signed a five-year contract with Major League Soccer club Los Angeles Galaxy.
In international football, Beckham made his England debut on 1 September 1996, at the age of 21.
He was captain for six years during which he played 58 times.
He has 115 career appearances to date.
Beckham has twice been runner-up for FIFA World Player of the Year and in 2004 was the world's highest-paid footballer when taking into account salary and advertising deals.
Beckham was the first British footballer to play 100 Champions League matches.
When joining the MLS in 2007 he was given the highest player salary in the league's history of US$6.5m per year.
He is married to Victoria Beckham and they have four children.
In 2009, the couple's joint wealth was estimated at ?125 million
In aninterview, Beckham said that, "At school whenever the teachers asked, 'What do you want to do when you're older?' I'd say, 'I want to be a footballer.'
Beckham's maternal grandfather was Jewish, and Beckham has referred to himself as "half Jewish" and wrote in his autobiography "I've probably had more contact with Judaism than with any other religion".
In his book Both Feet on the Ground, he stated that growing up he attended church every week with his parents and his older sister, Lynne Georgina and younger sister, Joanne Louise.
His parents were fanatical Manchester United supporters who would frequently travel to Old Trafford from London to attend the team's home matches.
David inherited his parents' love of Manchester United, and his main sporting passion was football.
During a two-year period in which Beckham played for Brimsdown Rovers' youth team, he was named Under-15 Player of the Year in 1990.