It’s been a bittersweet week for David Beckham fans as the soccer star, now 38 years old, announced his retirement yesterday. After his final two games with current team Paris Saint-Germain, you’ll no longer see him on the field professionally.
Here in the U.S., sports fans generally know the names of basketball, football and baseball’s — the “Big 3 American Sports — rising stars than soccer. Except when it comes to Beckham.
Beckham played six seasons and won two championships with the Los Angeles Galaxy during his career, while also excelling across the pond where soccer, of course, is a much bigger deal. He won titles with Manchester United, Real Madrid and more.
Between his talent, good looks, the movie Bend It Like Beckhan, his marriage to former Spice Girl and his appearance in countless shirtless ads, Beckham became a household name for more than just sports lovers.
Heck, Stefan Szymanski, co-author of the book Soccernomics told The NY Times: “I’m guessing he’s the prettiest player the game has ever had. He’s the Marilyn Monroe of soccer. Everybody would want to be next to David Beckham.”
Now that Beckham’s done his professional days for good, that role is open for someone to fill. Whoever tries to be “the next Beckham” sure will have some pretty big cleats to fill, though.