LONDON ó Statement from David Beckham announcing his decision Thursday to retire from soccer:
ďIím thankful to PSG (Paris Saint-Germain) for giving me the opportunity to continue but I feel now is the right time to finish my career, playing at the highest level.
ďIf 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 one hundred times and lined up for some of the biggest clubs in the world, I would have told you it was a fantasy. Iím fortunate to have realized those dreams.
ďTo 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. Iím honored to represent England both on and off the pitch.
ďI wouldnít have achieved what I have done today without my family. Iím grateful for my parentsí sacrifice, which made me realize 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.
ďI want to thank all my teammates, 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.
ďNothing will ever completely replace playing the game I love, however I feel like Iím starting a new adventure and Iím genuinely excited about what lies ahead. Iím fortunate to have been given many opportunities throughout my career and now I feel itís my time to give back.ĒCopyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.