Associated Press  |  Last updated May 16, 2013
David Beckham's retirement will bring an end to a footballing career that went far beyond his sport, and turned a gangly teenager from east London into one of the most recognizable faces on the planet. Hugely gifted as a player, though far from ranking with the greats such as Pele, Maradona and Lionel Messi, Beckham's true genius has been his marketability. Guided by his Spice Girl wife Victoria, Beckham progressively became a fashion icon, a global brand and the world's highest-paid footballer with a fortune estimated by The Sunday Times Rich List at around 165 million pounds ($250 million). ''I am a footballer that has played for some of the biggest clubs in the world and played with some of the best players in the world, played under some of the biggest and best managers and achieved almost everything in football,'' Beckham said Thursday after announcing he would retire at the end of the season. His career, the first half of which was spent with the Manchester United team he ...
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