How does the richest football player in the world get richer? By retiring.David Beckham yesterday announced he was hanging up his boots for good and giving that famous right foot a well-deserved rest because he wanted to ‘go out on the top’.
That may mean no more balls being curled into the back of the net in his trademark style, but the former England captain can console himself with the thought that his earnings are set to soar.The east London-raised star and his wife Victoria are set to become worth at least £300million with marketing experts predicting his ‘unique’ appeal will last for the next 20 years.It will mean an ever-upwards trajectory for ‘Brand Beckham’ now that the 38-year-old can concentrate solely on his commercial career.The Beckhams are already one of the richest celebrity couples in the country with a combined fortune estimated to be worth £190million.
David’s football earnings had become such a small part of his total income that he was able to give his estimated £3million salary from new club Paris St Germain to charity.The couple are now set to base themselves in London after their four children – Brooklyn, 14, Romeo, ten, Cruz, eight, and 21-month-old Harper – settled in the capital.David will play a greater role in supporting his wife’s perfume and fashion brand Victoria Beckham, which is valued at £30million.And he will concentrate on exploiting sponsorship and endorsement deals such as those he enjoyed with Diet Pepsi, Samsung and Marks & Spencer.
The ex-Manchester United star has already lined up a £20million role as an ambassador for Sky television, in addition to a £50million deal he has signed to be an ambassador for the Chinese super league. He is also fronting Sainsbury’s move into the sports sponsorship arena.In March, Beckham beat Barcelona’s Lionel Messi to be crowned the richest player in the world according to the Goal Rich List.Long-term sponsor Adidas took to Twitter to mark Beckham’s retirement with a tactical tweet saying: ‘David Beckham – always #allin.’
The post links to a close-up of the star’s Predator football boots with the brand’s global slogan ‘always all in’.Victoria Beckham, 39, last night described her husband as an ‘inspiration’ and a ‘true ambassador for sport’. ‘We are all excited about the next chapter in our lives and the adventures we will explore as a family,’ she said.However her husband appeared to have regrets that people focused more on his activities away from football.He told former best man and Manchester United teammate Gary Neville in an emotional interview yesterday: ‘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.’Beckham’s deal with the sportswear brand Adidas is already the biggest contract in football and is expected to remain.He is also expected to exploit his popularity in the US, where he was a regular on the red carpet and television during his time at LA Galaxy.
Steve Martin, chief executive of M&C Saatchi Sport and Entertainment, said: ‘From a brand perspective he is unique. He has an appeal that will go on for the next 15 to 20 years. He is on a totally different planet to other players in terms of commercial value and long-term ambassadorial roles.’Nigel Currie, of sports marketing agency Brand Rapport, added: ‘He’s unbelievably marketable and I think he’ll become more marketable.‘He’s got even more time to fulfil these roles and he’s such a popular figure that you can only see him going on to further greater things.’
Beckham said: ‘If you had told me as a young boy I would have played for and won trophies with my boyhood club Manchester United, proudly captained and played for my country over 100 times and lined up for some of the biggest clubs in the world, I would have told you it was a fantasy.’Beckham, who has an estimated £165million fortune, made his debut for Manchester United in 1992, winning six league titles and the Champions League before he moved to Madrid.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 Cup finals tournaments.Beckham said: ‘To this day, one of my proudest achievements is captaining my country.’I knew every time I wore the Three Lions shirt, I was not only following in a long line of great players, I was also representing every fan that cared passionately about their country. I’m honoured to represent England both on and off the pitch.’Having relocated from LA in January, Beckham is expected to set up a permanent base in London with his wife Victoria and children, Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper.Victoria spoke of her pride in her husband and described him as an ‘inspiration to millions’.
She said in a statement: ‘The children and I are so proud of David, it’s been an incredible journey for us all as we have watched him play at clubs all over the world throughout the last 15 years.’Myself and the children have cheered him from the stands, as he has held high trophies with his teams at Manchester United, Real Madrid, AC Milan, LA Galaxy and Paris St Germain.’This was not an easy decision to make, and to me and the children he will always be an amazing sportsman and a devoted husband and father.’He is, and will always remain, a true ambassador for sport and is not just an inspiration to myself and our children but for millions of people worldwide.
‘We are all excited about the next chapter in our lives and the adventures we will explore as a family.’His vast fortune comfortably makes Beckham the richest athlete ever in British sport, with a host of lucrative sponsorship deals and salary payments over the last decade amassing his wealth.He said he wanted to be remembered as a great footballer – rather than for anything off the field.As he announced his retirement yesterday, tributes flowed in from the world of football.Former England manager Steve McClaren described Beckham as ‘an inspiring personality’ while the player’s former Manchester United teammate Gary Neville hailed him as the most influential player in England in the last two decades.
Prime Minister David Cameron praised ‘all the work he did on helping us win London 2012’.A Downing Street spokesman said: ‘The Prime Minister’s view is that David Beckham has been an outstanding footballer throughout his career but not only that he has been a brilliant ambassador for this country, not least if we remember all the work he did on helping us win London 2012.’The Prime Minister’s message would simply be to say: “congratulations on a fantastic career”.’Beckham won the Primera Division title in his final season in Spain and the US Major League Soccer championship twice.He added: ‘I wouldn’t have achieved what I have done today without my family. I’m grateful for my parents’ sacrifice, which made me realise my dreams.
‘I owe everything to Victoria and the kids, who have given me the inspiration and support to play at the highest level for such a long period. I also want to thank Simon Fuller and his team for their continued support.’I want to thank all my team-mates, the great managers that I had the pleasure of learning from. I also want to thank the fans who have all supported me and given me the strength to succeed.’Beckham has this year become an ambassador for the sport in China.’Nothing will ever completely replace playing the game I love, however I feel like I’m starting a new adventure and I’m genuinely excited about what lies ahead,’ said Beckham.’I’m fortunate to have been given many opportunities throughout my career and now I feel it’s my time to give back.’
Sven-Goran Eriksson, whose tenure as England manager between 2001 and 2006 coincided with some of Beckham’s best years, not to mention his captaincy, told BBC Radio Five Live: ‘He is a fantastic footballer and a fantastic person. All over the world you say “David Beckham” and people know who that is.’I don’t think any other football player is more popular than he.’AC Milan, who signed Beckham twice on loan during the Major League Soccer off-season, posted a statement of thanks to the player on their official website.The club acknowledged that his initial arrival was not universally deemed to be good business, but praised his contribution at the San Siro.
‘His arrival at the club may have been greeted with some skepticism but his performances as a player quickly won over the non-believers,’ it read.’Two goals against Genoa and Bologna as well as 29 appearances with AC Milan helped the team towards two Champions League qualifications.’Thank you and good luck from all the fans and everyone at the club to David Beckham.’Beckham has two final games before the end of the season, the last home match of his career being this Saturday against Brest at Parc des Princes.Born in Leytonstone, Beckham started out with Ridgeway Rovers before being singled out by Manchester United legend Sir Bobby Charlton at a Soccer School in Barcelona.
At 14, he signed schoolboy terms at Old Trafford and joined the likes of Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt in United’s famous youth class of 1992, going on to make his first-team debut against Brighton in the League Cup that same year.Leading figures from the world of football paid tribute to David Beckham as he announced his retirement from football after a glittering 21-year career.His former Manchester United teammate Gary Neville described Beckham as the most influential player in England over the last two decades.
Gary Lineker wrote on Twitter that the 38-year-old was: ‘A wonderful player, global superstar and a magnificent ambassador for England and football.Neville, who is a close friend of Beckham, told Sky Sports News today: ‘You look at it and think “wow”, he’s got an incredible array of caps and medals, an incredible longevity.’He played in the greatest midfield I’ve ever played with: David, Ryan Giggs, Roy Keane and Paul Scholes. David was a crosser of the ball, a passer of the ball. He had incredible stamina and energy. He was a joy to play with.’And when you think back on the way football has changed over the last 22 years, he has probably been the most influential player in that time out of England in terms of transforming football.
‘In leaving the country, to Milan, LA, Paris, he has transported England around the world and that’s something he was aware of and wanted to do.’Every clothing garment he wore, every hairstyle was followed – not just in football but out of football.’That’s why you see him working as an ambassador for the Olympics.’FA chairman David Bernstein described Beckham as an iconic figure in the game.He said: ‘In the week following Sir Alex Ferguson retiring, which came as a bit of a shock, now we have the iconic David Beckham coming out of the game.
‘It’s unexpected even though he is getting to mature years for a footballer.’He is an iconic figure in the game and produced wonderful performances for his clubs, particularly Manchester United.’When you look at his playing and work for England, no one would ever accuse him of being unpatriotic and not giving everything for his country.England manager Roy Hodgson said that he hopes Beckham will continue to be involved in football after his retirement.
‘David is a man of many talents and a lot of people now will be wanting him for different jobs and roles, some of which could take him away from us in football,’ he said.’But I’m rather hoping we’ll be able to keep him in football because we can really benefit from his experience, we can really benefit from his charisma and we certainly benefit from the magnificent past he has had as a football player.’Former England manager Steve McClaren hailed the midfielder as a great of the modern game after the former national team captain announced his retirement.
Beckham, who was instantly dropped when McClaren inherited the England job from Sven-Goran Eriksson in 2006, is to quit the game at the end of the season.He eventually won over McClaren in their England days, earning a recall.And McClaren said today: ‘He was a great player. He made the very most of his talents through sheer hard work and professionalism and always doing extra work on the training field.’He inspired his team-mates through his performances.’He was a winner, he’s won so many things in his career, and that was infectious on his team-mates.’And he was an inspiring personality to young players with his behaviour and professionalism on and off the field. But ultimately he was a leader and people followed him.
‘The young players followed him in how he played and in his personality, and even off the field the young players of today are following him through his fashion.’The President of FIFA Sepp Blatter tweeted: ‘David Beckham, one of the most iconic figures in global football is retiring from playing. It’s the end of a chapter of an amazing story.’David grew up as a football loving child & achieved his dreams, and unquestionably inspired millions of boys & girls to try & do the same.
‘Whatever he chooses to do next I’m sure he’ll approach with the same dedication & good grace he displayed the last 21 years. Good Luck!’British Olympic Association chair Lord Seb Coe congratulated David Beckham on his career: ‘It is impossible to think about the success of the London 2012 Games and not reflect upon the extraordinary commitment made by David Beckham.’At every stage of the London 2012 journey – from the bid phase, to planning for the Games, to the torch relay and the unforgettable summer of sport in 2012, David was a constant source of support and inspiration.’His impact across football – and all of sport – will be felt for generations to come.’ – DailyTimes