Unless you’ve been living in a closet for the last week or two, you’ve probably heard the news that David Beckham – after 20 incredible years – is calling it quits in professional football. Becks is stepping away from the game on his own terms, and though his best play has been behind him for a few years now, it’s really been quite a graceful exit for a player whose legions of fans hoped for just that.
So, as life as a football fan without Beckham begins to set in, let’s honour him with a brief look back. Here are the 6 things we’ll miss most about the great David Beckham
1. The Winning He may never have brought England a World Cup, but Beckham can hardly be faulted for that, and it’s certainly worth noting at the end of his career that he won just about everywhere else he went. A 1999 Champions League title and 6 Premier League wins with Man U, a La Liga victory with Real Madrid, and an MLS championship with the LA Galaxy are just a few of his teams’ myriad accomplishments on the biggest stages.
2. The Determination Former team mate Jonathan Woodgate notes, in a recent tribute to Beckham, that Beckham’s career was about proving people wrong. Let go by Manchester United, Beckham won with Real Madrid. Cut from the England national team in 2006, Beckham was back in 2008. Criticised for moving to the U.S., Beckham brought more attention to the MLS than anyone ever had, and won a championship with the Galaxy. His career was full of a furious determination
3. The Field Play Watching Beckham play at the height of his power was like watching a player who could see the future. Beckham’s on-field precision and play were so strong that a fan might want to consult Acuvue’s guide to astigmatism to make sure he or she was seeing clearly. His control of the ball, particularly in setting up team mates and taking his famous free kicks, was simply otherworldly at times.
4. The Smile Despite all the winning, all the determination, and the furious ability Beckham continually displayed on the field, his smile will be missed. On television, in interviews, and even on Hollywood’s red carpets, Beckham always seemed incredibly at ease, and truth be told the image for a pro athlete of his calibre was refreshing.
5. The Advertisements Plenty will site shirtless photos of Beckham on billboards first when discussing what they’ll miss most. Football fans prefer to focus more on his on-field stardom, but the ads were certainly prevalent and unique.
6. The Celebrity Finally, we’ll miss his simple, raw celebrity. Beckham may at one point have been the best player in the world – but he has undeniably been the most recognise
able for some time now, and the game of football will miss that celebrity. Beckham brought attention to the beautiful game every time he appeared publicly, and his reputation will be sorely missed.