David Beckham, one of the world’s most recognised (former) soccer players, was just named People’s “Sexiest Man Alive,” for the first time.
This 40-year-old father of four began his soccer career when he was 16 and continued playing profesionally until his retirement in 2013. In that time, he played 523 games and scored 97 goals for six different teams, two of which he was loaned to.
But Beckham has been in the spotlight for more than just his soccer ability. After marrying Victoria Beckham (aka Posh Spice from the Spice Girls), the couple became a global phenomenon.
Beckham has appeared in video games, commercials, movies, and is the face of a number of brands throughout the world, including H&M and Adidas. Just this year, he was named second on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid retired athletes.
He also owns a Major League Soccer team and is actively involved in a number of charities, celebrating 10 years as a UNICEF ambassador this year.
Here’s a look at the life and career of Beckham:
Beckham said he always wanted to play professional soccer. He used to play on a local youth team, and at age 14 he attended Manchester United's training academy. His parents were massive United fans.
He signed his first contract with United when he was 16, and he debuted with the team in 1992. During his 11 years with United, he scored 62 goals and the team won the Premier League title six times, the FA Cup twice, and the UEFA Champions League and the World Club Championship in 1999.
Beckham made his debut for the England national team when he was 21 and played with them from 1996-2009. He was the captain for six years and played in three World Cups.
In 2001, PlayStation released the video game 'David Beckham Soccer.' It was later released for other platforms as well. In 2002, 'Go! Go! Beckham! Adventure on Soccer Island' was released for Game Boy Advance. He also graced the cover of the FIFA '98 video game.
He met Victoria Adams, known as Posh Spice of the Spice Girls, in 1997, and they married in September 1999. The couple has four kids: Brooklyn, 16, Romeo, 12, Cruz, 10, and Harper, 4.
The movie 'Bend It Like Beckham' came out in 2002. Beckham wasn't able to make a cameo appearance, so a lookalike was used instead. He did make a cameo in the movies 'Goal! The Dream Begins,' 'Goal II: Living the Dream' and 'Goal III: Taking on the World.'
Beckham signed a four-year contract with Real Madrid in 2003 for about $50 million. Forbes found that in the years that Beckham was on the team, Real Madrid sold $600 million worth of soccer merchandise, increasing their profits by 137 per cent.
In 2005, Beckham opened two soccer academies, one in Los Angeles and the other in London. They both closed in 2009.
He moved to Los Angeles and made his Major League Soccer debut with LA Galaxy in 2007 in what was said to be a record-breaking $250 million contract, but that wasn't necessarily the case. His salary, along with endorsements, totaled an estimated $250 million. During his time there, he was loaned to Milan twice, once in 2009 and again in 2010.
After the Beckhams made the move to the US, the family had some TV specials. ESPN ran a documentary called 'David Beckham: New Beginnings' and Victoria had a reality show special called 'Victoria Beckham: Coming to America,' both produced by their agent Simon Fuller's company, 19 Entertainment.
Beckham joined tennis player Andy Murray as one of Malaria No More UK's founding Leadership Council members when the organisation launched in 2009.
He signed a five-month contract with Paris Saint-Germain in 2013, and while playing for the team, he donated his entire salary to charity. He announced his retirement at the end of five months.
He made Forbes' list of the world's highest-paid retired athletes this year, raking in $75 million in 2014, second behind Michael Jordan.
Beckham has a number of endorsement deals, including Breitling, Sky Sports, and Belstaff. Beckham also has a few deals in China, including Jaguar, China Auto Rental, and Sands China. He also became an ambassador for the Chinese Super League.
Last year, he even partnered with beverage company Diageo to launch a new whiskey and signed a deal with Global Brands Group. Between them both, he's supposed to bring in more than $20 million.
And you can't forget about his fragrance and clothing deals. As an Adidas user, he signed a $130 million lifelong contract back in 2003. Beckham extended his deal with Coty, a beauty product company that sells his fragrances, through 2017. His 2012 deal with H&M extended to include swimwear this last year and will also include a new line of menswear.
A year ago, Beckham announced the purchase of an MLS team to bring to Miami after being given the option to purchase a franchise for $25 million as designated by his MLS contract back in 2007. The deal might not work out if Beckham and his investors can't get approval for a stadium.
To mark his tenth year as a UNICEF Ambassador, Beckham started 7, a UNICEF fund to help protect children from danger.
(Instagram) When I visited Cambodia with @unicef earlier this year, I spent time with children and young people who have experienced terrible violence and abuse. As a father it is devastating to think that any child should have to suffer like this. I'm proud to say that I'm going to travel to the UN next week, to make sure that world leaders act to protect children from danger. #ENDviolence
A photo posted by David Beckham (@davidbeckham) on Sep 15, 2015 at 5:27am PDT
Beckham made a slight cameo in Guy Ritchie's 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' earlier this year and will also appear in Ritche's upcoming film, 'Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur.'
(Instagram) What a beautiful day today is going to be... I want to wish my mate and his beautiful bride an amazing day where friends and family come together to celebrate what they have and are going to create together over the years to come... Have an amazing day you two... Oh and by the way don't miss Man from U.N.C.L.E .. Proud to have played a small part ... @guyritchie
A photo posted by David Beckham (@davidbeckham) on Jul 30, 2015 at 4:29am PDT
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