David Beckham admits criticism of celebrity lifestyle hurts

The former England captain has announced he is retiring

David Beckham admitted he had been hurt by criticism of his celebrity status as he announced his retirement from football.

The 38-year-old will follow his old mentor Sir Alex Ferguson into retirement after a stellar 21-year career that has seen him win league titles in four countries - at Manchester United, Real Madrid, Los Angeles Galaxy and this season at Paris St Germain.

Beckham, England's most capped outfield player, said it had always been his dream to call it a day while he was still at the top and hoped people would focus on his footballing achievements.

He told Sky Sports News: "Over the years people have obviously looked at other things that have gone on in my career and sometimes that's overshadowed what I've done on the pitch.

"As much as I say that doesn't hurt me, of course it does.

"At the end of the day I'm a footballer who has played for some of the biggest clubs in the world, with some of the best players in the world, and under some of the biggest and best managers, and achieved almost everything in football.

"It hurts when people not question it, but think about other things.

"I hope people will remember me as a hard-working footballer, someone who was passionate about the game and someone that gave everything that they have, because that's how I feel."

Beckham will bring the curtain down on his remarkable playing career at the end of the season - PSG have two matches remaining.

Beckham added: "It's every athlete's dream, it's every footballer's dream to go out on top form or winning a trophy. It doesn't happen that often.

"I've been lucky: when I left United we won the league, when I left Madrid we won the league, leaving Galaxy after winning the championship there and then coming here (Paris) and winning the league.

"It's nice to go out like that, it's written, it's simple."

Beckham made his debut for Manchester United in 1992, winning six league titles and the Champions League before moving to Real Madrid and then Los Angeles Galaxy, plus loan spells at AC Milan.

He made his England debut in 1996 and would go on to be the Three Lions' most capped outfield player with 115 appearances. He was the first English player to score in three consecutive World Cups.

Beckham will spend the next few months considering numerous different offers before deciding on his next big move.

He already has a number of contracts as an ambassador plus other lucrative endorsement deals, and he has demonstrated his value to a number of causes - not least in helping secure the 2012 Olympics for London.

One definite long-term aim will be to own a franchise in Major League Soccer in the United States - the current fee to buy in is US dollars 40million but Beckham has made it clear that he will pursue that avenue.

There are certain to be offers from the Football Association for Beckham to become an ambassador for the English game - FA chairman David Bernstein spoke yesterday about the wish to form a "close association" with him, and England manager Roy Hodgson said he hoped he would stay "close to the game".

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
voicesBryony Beynon: This is something every woman can relate to
Arts and Entertainment
film

News
Mock the tweet: Ukip leader Nigel Farage and comedian Frankie Boyle
peopleIt was a polite exchange of words, as you can imagine
Arts and Entertainment
Steven, Ella Jade and Sarah in the boardroom
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Life and Style
Britons buy more than 30 million handsets each year, keeping them for an average of 18 months
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch is reported to be in final negotiations to play Doctor Strange for Marvel although the casting has not yet been confirmed
film
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Alloysious Massaquoi, 'G' Hastings and Kayus Bankole of Young Fathers are the surprise winners of this year's Mercury Music Prize
musicThe surprise winners of the Mercury Prize – and a very brief acceptance speech
Arts and Entertainment
TV Presenters Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly. Winners of the 'Entertainment Programme' award for 'Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway'
musicAnt and Dec confirmed as hosts of next year's Brit Awards
Arts and Entertainment
Orson Welles made Citizen Kane at 25, and battled with Hollywood film studios thereafter
film
Life and Style
fashion

World Beard and Moustache Championships held last week

News
video
Arts and Entertainment
Copycat culture: the Chateau Zhang Laffitte in China, top, and the building which inspired it, in Paris, bottom
architectureReplicas of Western landmarks are springing up in unlikely places
Sport
Rolando Aarons watches as his effort finds the corner of the Manchester City goal to give Newcastle the lead
footballManchester City 0 Newcastle 2: Holders crash out on home turf
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain