Tuesday, June 17, 2014

17 June 2003 - Beckham's Odyssey Begins

On 17 June 2003, Manchester United sold their star midfielder David Beckham to Spanish giants Real Madrid.

Beckham signed with Manchester United in 1991 at the age of 14 and helped secure a number of honors for the Old Trafford club, including six Premier League titles, two FA Cup trophies, and one UEFA Champions League trophy. He also earned numerous individual awards, including the PFA Young Player of the Year (1996-97), the UEFA Club Player of the Year (1999), and the BBC Sports Personality of the Year (2001). In all, Beckham made 394 appearances for the Red Devils in all competitions, scoring 85 goals.

By the year 2000, despite his success on the pitch, his relationship with manager Sir Alex Ferguson began to deteriorate, due in part to Beckham's off-pitch commitments and growing celebrity following his marriage to Victoria "Posh Spice" Adams in 1999. The relationship between player and manager hit bottom on 15 February 2003 when, after an FA Cup loss to Arsenal, Ferguson kicked a boot that hit Beckham above the eye, requiring stitches.

At the end of that season, with the relationship beyond salvage, Manchester United sold Beckham to Real Madrid for €35 million (£25M) on 17 June. The transfer was completed on 1 July 2003, making Beckham only the third Englishman to play for the Spanish side.

After spending twelve years with United, the move triggered a peripatetic period in Beckham's career. He spent only four seasons with Real, helping them to the La Liga title in 2006-07. In the summer of 2007, he moved to the United States, joining MLS side L.A. Galaxy. He remained there until 2012, including two loan spells with AC Milan, then finished his career at Paris St. Germain. 

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