David inherited his parents' love of Manchester United, and his main sporting passion was football. He attended one of Bobby Charlton 's football schools in Manchester and won the chance to take part in a training session with Barcelona , as part of a talent competition.
Tottenham Hotspur was the first club he played for. During a two-year period in which Beckham played for Brimsdown Rovers ' youth team, he was named Under Player of the Year in Beckham scored Manchester United's second goal in the 30th minute of their 3—1 first-leg win of the final against Crystal Palace on 14 April In the second leg on 15 May, Beckham played a full minutes of the fixture which ended 3—2 in favour of Manchester United and 6—3 on aggregate.
Shortly afterwards, Beckham signed as a professional on 23 January The first leg was played on 10 May , where Beckham started in Manchester United's 2—0 home loss but was replaced by substitute Robbie Savage. In the second leg on 13 May , Beckham played the full 90 minutes of Manchester United's 2—1 defeat, which gave Leeds United a 4—1 aggregate score.
Beckham would also receive honours with the club's reserve team when the squad won the league in In September , Beckham went on to gain his first full appearance in the club's first team against Port Vale in a League Cup fixture. Despite the victory, however, they finished third out of four in their group, behind Barcelona. He impressed, scoring two goals in five appearances, notably scoring directly from a corner kick.
He played four times for United in the league that season, as they finished second behind Blackburn Rovers , missing out on a third successive Premier League title by a single point. He was not in the squad for the FA Cup final with Everton on 20 May, which United lost 1—0, leaving the club without a major trophy for the first time since Beckham was part of a group of young talents Ferguson brought into United in the s known as " Fergie's Fledglings " , which included Nicky Butt and Gary and Phil Neville.
When experienced players Paul Ince , Mark Hughes , and Andrei Kanchelskis left the club after the end of the —95 season, his decision to let youth team players replace them instead of buying star players from other clubs United had been linked with moves for players including Darren Anderton , Marc Overmars and Roberto Baggio , but no major signings were made that summer , drew a great deal of criticism. The criticism increased when United started the season with a 3—1 defeat at Aston Villa ,  with Beckham scoring United's only goal of the game.
However, United would recover from this early season defeat and the young players performed well. Beckham's first title medal had, for a while, looked like it would not be coming that season, as United were still 10 points adrift of leaders Newcastle United at the turn of the new year, but Beckham and his teammates had overhauled the Tynesiders at the top of the league by mid March and they remained top until the end of the season.
Despite playing regularly and to a consistently high standard for Manchester United, Beckham did not break into the England squad before Euro The ball seemed to be in the air for hours and it all went quiet.
Then the ball went in and it just erupted. I was on cloud nine. I just wanted to shake everybody's hand and be out on the pitch for an hour. On 17 August the first day of the Premier League season , Beckham became something of a household name when he scored a spectacular goal in a match against Wimbledon. With United leading 2—0, Beckham noticed that Wimbledon's goalkeeper Neil Sullivan was standing a long way out of his goal, and hit a shot from the halfway line that floated over the goalkeeper and into the net.
There were reports suggesting that the opposition would allow themselves to be beaten to prevent their deadly local rivals Arsenal from retaining the title, but Tottenham took an early lead in the match. Both of the goals came from corners taken by Beckham. It was suggested in the press that his wife was a bad influence on him, and that it might be in United's interests to sell him,  but his manager publicly backed him and he stayed at the club.
During the — season, there was a talk of a transfer to Juventus in Italy, but this never happened. Beckham helped United retain the Premier League title in — by an point margin, after being pushed by Arsenal and Leeds United for much of the season. United won their final 11 league games of the season, with Beckham scoring five goals during this run, with his last goal coming from a swerving shot from the edge of the penalty area in their final home game against Tottenham Hotspur.
In , Beckham was given permission to miss training to look after his son Brooklyn, who had gastroenteritis , but Ferguson was furious when Victoria Beckham was photographed at a London Fashion Week event on the same night, claiming that Beckham would have been able to train if Victoria had looked after Brooklyn that day. He later criticised Beckham for this in his autobiography, claiming he had not been "fair to his teammates"  Beckham had a good season for his club, though, and helped United to win the Premier League by a record margin.
He used to go into work with the academy coaches at night time, he was a fantastic young lad. Getting married into that entertainment scene was a difficult thing — from that moment, his life was never going to be the same. He is such a big celebrity, football is only a small part. He scored nine goals that season, all in the Premier League.
There was speculation in the British media that the injury might have been caused deliberately, as the player who had injured Beckham was Argentine Aldo Duscher , and England and Argentina were due to meet in that year's World Cup.
The income from his new contract, and his many endorsement deals, made him the highest-paid player in the world at the time. His relationship with his manager deteriorated further on 15 February when, in the changing room following an FA Cup defeat to Arsenal, a furious Alex Ferguson threw       or kicked a boot that struck Beckham over the eye, causing a cut that required stitches.
The incident led to a great deal of transfer speculation involving Beckham, with bookmakers offering odds on whether he or Ferguson would be first to leave the club. He also made 81 Champions league appearances, scoring 15 goals. By this stage, he was their joint second longest serving player behind Ryan Giggs having joined them at the same time as Nicky Butt , Gary Neville and Paul Scholes.
Real Madrid "He is a great player who is going to become part of the club's great history. He is a man of our times and a symbol of modern-day stardom and what is certain is Real Madrid have signed Beckham because he's a great footballer and a very dedicated professional. His team spirit is unsurpassed and he is one of the best English players of all-time and if only because of that he is with us.
He decided to wear number 23 instead, citing his admiration of basketball player Michael Jordan , who also wore the number 23 shirt, as the reason behind his decision.
In late July , the club went on a tour of the Far East as part of pre-season training, but also to cash in on Beckham's huge marketing appeal in Asia, where he enjoyed tremendous following. Real's brand recognition in that part of the globe was already well established as the club made financially successful trips to Asia during previous off-seasons. The presence of a global marketing icon such as Beckham, however, made this particular tour a financial smash for los Merengues. Beckham signed on with Simon Fuller and his company 19 Entertainment , which already managed the career of Victoria.
In July , while Beckham was in pre-season training in Spain, an intruder scaled a wall at the Beckham home while carrying a can of petrol. Victoria and their children were in the house at the time, but security guards apprehended the man before he reached the house. Beckham made more headlines on 9 October when he admitted intentionally fouling Ben Thatcher in an England match against Wales to get himself booked.
Beckham was due to receive a one-match suspension for his next caution , and had picked up an injury which he knew would keep him out of England's next match, so he deliberately fouled Thatcher to serve his suspension in a match that he would have had to miss anyway. The Football Association asked Beckham for an explanation of his actions and he admitted that he had "made a mistake" and apologised.
Having received a yellow card , he was judged to have sarcastically applauded the referee and was given a second yellow card, causing an automatic dismissal, although the suspension was cancelled on appeal. However, the well-travelled Brazilian failed to inspire the team to the title as Real again finished the season in second position.
On 3 December , Beckham was sent off for the third time that season in a league match against Getafe CF. By the end of that season, Beckham led La Liga in number of assists. The summer off-season marked a turbulent time as the club's presidential elections were held. Of the first nine matches Beckham started, Real lost seven. However, he later claimed that he was mistranslated and that he actually said that Beckham's contract had not yet been renewed. On 13 January , Fabio Capello said that Beckham had played his last game for Real Madrid, although he would continue to train with the team.
The player immediately repaid his head coach's trust by scoring the equalising goal from a yard free kick, as Real Madrid eventually recorded a 2—1 victory. Beckham played a pivotal role in all three Madrid goals in the home game, with Bayern goalkeeper Oliver Kahn describing his performance as "world class".
I'm coming there to be part of the team, to work hard and to hopefully win things. With me, it's about football. I'm coming there to make a difference. I'm coming there to play football I'm not saying me coming over to the States is going to make soccer the biggest sport in America. That would be difficult to achieve. Baseball, basketball, American football, they've been around.
But I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't think I could make a difference. The speculation about his new contract in Madrid was thus put to an end and the following day Beckham's official press conference was held in conjunction with the MLS SuperDraft.
The announcement made top news all across the globe. The gate revenue peaked as well with 11, new season tickets holders and sold-out luxury suites each one of the 42 inside the team's home ground, the Home Depot Center. Involved on many business fronts worldwide, AEG was already leveraging its Beckham association in places such as China, where the company had been working aggressively in Shanghai and Beijing for years to receive clearance to build arenas and stadiums.
Another provision was the opt-out clause after the season, meaning that should he decide so, Beckham was free to leave the club after completing year three of his five-year contract. It was announced that Galaxy jersey sales had already reached a record figure of over , prior to this formal introduction. New Beginnings documentary produced by 19 Entertainment before the friendly match versus Chelsea , which was expected to be Beckham's American debut.
In addition to popularising soccer, Beckham's arrival was used as platform for entertainment industry endeavours. Since both Beckham's and his wife's often overlapping careers were handled by 19 Entertainment, which is owned by Simon Fuller , who in turn has a business relationship with the Creative Artists Agency CAA , one of Hollywood's most powerful talent agencies, it was important also for CAA that the Beckhams made as big an impact as possible upon their arrival in the United States.
Coming to America aired on NBC, drawing negative reviews in the press and poor viewership ratings. However, the proceedings on the field of play took a back seat to the Beckham spectacle, and despite the presence of worldwide football stars such as Andriy Shevchenko , Didier Drogba , Michael Ballack , and Frank Lampard , the US television cameras were firmly focused on Beckham who spent most of the match on the bench.
The match's added time featured a scare for already injured Beckham when he got tackled by Steve Sidwell whose cleats struck Beckham's right foot, sending him airborne before he crumpled hard to the ground. Though the existing injury was not aggravated too much, Beckham's recovery process was set back by about a week.
ESPN's presentation of Beckham's debut earned a 1. Attended by many Hollywood A-listers , the lavish bash was big news in the US celebrity tabloid media, including daily entertainment TV magazines such as Entertainment Tonight and Access Hollywood.
It was in Toronto on 5 August that the team got its first taste of what life would be like on the road with Beckham on the roster. Due to security concerns, it was the first time the team flew on a charter for a road match, rather than flying commercial MLS normally forbids charter flights for away matches, claiming they provide competitive advantage, but in this case they made an exception due to the frenzy created around Beckham and resulting security issues.
United in front of the sellout crowd of 46, nearly three times the average D. The next match on the road trip was at New England Revolution and Beckham decided to sit it out, fearing further aggravating his ankle injury on the Gillette Stadium 's artificial surface. Beckham returned to the pitch the following week, again facing D.
United, in the SuperLiga semi-final on 15 August. During this game he had many firsts with the Galaxy; his first start, first yellow card and first game as team captain. These goals gave the team a 2—0 victory, and a place in the North American SuperLiga final versus Pachuca on 29 August.