- Title: VARIOUS: Profile of David Beckham who will gain his 100th cap in Paris
- Date: 26th March 2008
- Summary: AWAJI ISLAND, JAPAN (MAY 29, 2002) (REUTERS) BECKHAM TRAINING
- Embargoed: 10th April 2008 13:00
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment / Showbiz,Sports
- Reuters ID: LVA4CW2MO33BL3HB17BNZQ861WWL
- Story Text: Profile of England's David Beckham, who will make his 100th appearance for his country against France.
David Beckham will gain his 100th cap for England at the Stade de France on Wednesday (March 26) to become one of only five players in English soccer history to become an England centurion.
Beckham will join England legends Billy Wright, Bobby Charlton, Bobby Moore and Peter Shilton in reaching 100 appearances for England.
Blessed with good looks, a former pop-star wife and a talent for self-promotion, Beckham is among England's most precious commodities.
Being David Beckham is now a lifestyle. Like George Best, whose name is inextricably linked with the Swinging Sixties, the LA Galaxy midfielder personifies his era, one obsessed with celebrity and image over substance.
From being a national hate figure after being sent off in the 1998 World Cup, he moved on to captaining his country and becoming a devoted father of three.
He is almost as famous in Japan, South Africa or Italy -- indeed any country where children can mimic Beckham's trademark free kicks in the park, alleyway or back garden.
Beckham spent the majority of his career at the world's richest football club, Manchester United, where he was worshipped ever since scoring a goal from the halfway line against Wimbledon in August 1996.
Beckham signed schoolboy forms with United on his 14th birthday, before joining the club as a 16-year-old trainee in 1991. By 1995/96 he was a regular in a successful.
They scooped the Premier league and FA Cup double that season and won another five league titles, hitting the jackpot in 1999 with the treble of Premier league, FA Cup and Champions League victories.
But more astonishing than the racks of medals in Beckham's trophy cabinet is his transformation from soccer's most hated figure to exemplary England player.
The midfielder's petulant kick at Argentina's Diego Simeone during the 1998 World Cup led to England fans turning viciously on the golden boy.
Back in England, Beckham was abused by fans at every ground he visited. West Ham fans held up red cards reading "You're a disgrace to your country".
The United player kept his counsel, winning back public opinion with his stoicism in the face of the insults.
"It went through my mind during those dark days that I might have to go and play abroad," he said at the start of the 2002 World Cup.
"I feared for my safety at times because there were so many threats coming through."
England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson gave him the full-time captaincy in February 2001 after a trial run under caretaker Peter Taylor a year earlier.
This recovery would probably not have been possible, however, without his pop star girlfriend and now wife.
Beckham met Victoria "Posh" Adams in the mid-1990s when she was a member of the Spice Girls.
Victoria's strong influence over her husband has contributed to his ever-changing hairstyle, tattoos and development into a fashion icon.
Glenn Hoddle, former England manager, omitted him from the England side at the start of the 1998 World Cup, accusing him of being unfocused after he was photographed wearing a sarong.
Before the 2002 World Cup he became the first man to be on the cover of British fashion magazine Marie Claire and Japanese teenagers flocked to hairdressers across the host nation to copy his mohican haircut.
In 2003 he left Manchester United after falling out with manager Alex Ferguson and moved to Real Madrid.
Three years prior to Beckham's signing, Real held a virtual monopoly on buying the world's best players.
Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo and Ronaldo, all winners of the World Player of the Year award, arrived at the Bernabeu for a combined transfer total of more than $160 million, with Beckham taking the outlay to more than $200 million.
Beckham was the first major English player to move abroad since Steve McManaman went to Real Madrid in 1999.
McManaman spent much of his time on the substitutes' bench in the Spanish capital, a fate Beckham was desperate to avoid.
While in Madrid, Beckham became a father for the third time to Cruz Beckham who was born on February 20, 2005.
Real Madrid manager Fabio Capello dropped Beckham from the squad when he signed a contract with Los Angeles Galaxy. He signed a five year deal with the American giants worth in excess of $250 million.
Before leaving Real Madrid, Beckham made an appaearance in his final game for the club to play a part in becoming La Liga Champions in 2007.
The Beckhams moved to Los Angeles for David to start his career as the first ever player to play for England and a non - European club and his signing led to 250,000 Galaxy jersey sales.
But injury reduced his appearances to a handful and when Fabio Capello took over from Steve McClaren after England's abject performance in attempting to qualify for the Euro 2008 tournament he left Beckham out of his first squad against Switzerland as the player was not match fit.
But Capello then included him in the squad for the France friendly and Beckham is now intent on making it more than 100 caps for England.
1975 - Born May 2, Leytonstone, London.
1989 - Signs schoolboy forms with United on 14th birthday.
1993 - Joins Manchester United as a trainee.
1995 - Makes United first team league debut aged 19.
1995/96 - Becomes United regular, playing 33 games in
league and FA Cup double-winning side.
1996/97 - Scores from halfway line in opening day victory
over Wimbledon. Makes England debut in September 1997 World
Cup qualifier against Moldova.
1998 - Scores in World Cup against Colombia but goes home
in disgrace after being sent off for kicking out at Argentine
midfielder Diego Simeone in second-round defeat.
Back in England, faces jeers from opposition fans at every
ground. Signs new five-year contract at Old Trafford worth 5
million pounds ($8.22 million).
1999 - March - Becomes a father when fiancee Victoria
Adams -- of pop group the Spice Girls -- gives birth to son
May - Plays key role as United complete the treble of
Champions League, premier league and FA Cup.
July - Marries Spice Girl singer Victoria Adams.
October - Fined two weeks' wages for appearing at a party
in London shortly before a Champions League game.
Summoned by Football Association for informal meeting to discuss his
behaviour after series of bookings.
2000 - January - Comes second in FIFA's world player of
the year award behind Brazilian forward Rivaldo.
June - Escapes punishment for making an obscene gesture to
abusive England fans after 3-2 defeat by Portugal at Euro
November - Caretaker manager Peter Taylor names Beckham as
England captain for friendly against Italy.
December - Former Germany coach and captain Franz
Beckenbauer hails Beckham as the best player in the world.
2001 - February - New England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson
retains Beckham as captain for Spain friendly, which England
September - England beat Germany 5-1 in World Cup
qualifier in Munich under Beckham's captaincy.
October - Earns England a place in the World Cup finals
with a stunning injury time free kick, salvaging a 2-2 draw
December - Named BBC Sports Personality of the year.
2002 - April - Breaks a bone in his foot during Champions
League quarter-final against Deportivo Coruna, threatening his
participation in World Cup finals.
Escapes car crash unharmed.
May - Signs new contract with United on final day of
league season, keeping him at club until June 2005.
June - After rapid recovery, scores penalty to beat
Argentina in group match, four years on from World Cup
sending-off against the South American side.
England are knocked out by Brazil in the quarter-finals.
September - Second son, Romeo, born.
2003 - February - Injured by Alex Ferguson after United
lose to Arsenal in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
Manager kicks a boot in the dressing room which hits Beckham in the
April - Left on the bench for vital league game against
Arsenal and Champions League quarter-final clash with Real
Comes on in 64th minute against Real and scores twice
but United lose 6-5 on aggregate. Speculation circulates of a
possible move to the Spanish side.
May - Beckham breaks his hand during a 2-1 friendly win
over South Africa in Durban, and is expected to be in plaster
for six to eight weeks.
June - Manchester United confirm a number of Spanish and
Italian clubs are interested in recruiting Beckham.
June 10 - United say they have held talks with Barcelona
presidential candidate Joan Laporta and are ready to accept a
bid for Beckham should Laporta win the election.
June 14 - Awarded OBE (Officer of the Order of the British
Empire) by Queen Elizabeth.
June 17 - Beckham joins Real Madrid for 35 million euros,
Manchester United confirm on their website.
2004 - June - Beckham played in all Englands matches at Euro 2004
June 24 - Beckham misses penalty for England as they lose the
penalty shootout to Portugal in Euro 2004 quarter final.
2005 - January - Beckham became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador
February 20 - Beckham became a father for the third time to his son
October - His sending off against Austria made him the first ever
to be sent off for England. He also became the first and only player to be
off twice while playing for England.
November - Beckham captained England for the 50th time against
2006 - July 16 - Beckham steps down as captain of England after
being knocked in the quarter finals of the World Cup by
Portugal. Beckham held the captaincy role for 6 years.
August 11 - New England manager Steve McClaren drops
Beckham from National team
September 16 - Beckham says he has "burning desire" to prove
Steve McClaren wrong after being dropped from England team
2007 - January 11 - Beckham signs a five - year deal with U.S side
Los Angeles Galaxy worth $1 million a week - the biggest deal in
January 13 - Real Madrid coach Fabio Capello drops Beckham from
team and says he won't play again for the team after signing contract
with LA Galaxy.
February 10 - Beckham who had been left out of 6 previous matches
made a scoring return for Real Madrid to beat Real Sociedad 2-1.
June 1 - Makes his first appearance for England in 11 months and
set up John Terry's goal with a trademark free kick.
June 17 - Beckham played in the Real Madrid team which beat Real
to win the league title for the 30th time.
July 21 - Makes his debut for Los Angeles Galaxy in front of capacity
when he came on as a substitute in the 78th minute of the exhibition match
August 15 - Beckham starts his first game for Galaxy and captains the team.
his first goal for the team in the 28th minute with a free kick and assists
the second goal
of the 2-0 win against DC United to put them through to the SuperLiga
August 22 - Played friendly against Germany to become first ever to play
while with a non-European club team.
August 30 - Beckham sprains right knee resulting in spending the next 6
weeks on the
sideline to end his first MLS (Major League Soccer) Season.
November 21 - Beckham earned his 99th cap for England against Croatia
up a goal for Peter Crouch. England failed to qualify for Euro 2008 but
Beckham had no plans to retire.
New England manager Fabio Capello left Beckham out of England squad for
against Switzerland which would have given him his 100th cap.
2008 - March - Capello calls Beckham back into the squad for the game
France to award Beckham with his 100th cap for England at the Stade de
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