How the athlete became arguably one of the most famous celebrities of our time.

This article titled “David Beckham: the football star who outshone his sport” was written by Owen Gibson, Chief sports correspondent, for The Guardian on Thursday 16th May 2013 20.20 UTC

From a hate figure pilloried for his sending-off in a crucial World Cup tie to a star who long ago transcended his sport, David Beckham's globe-trotting odyssey has made him one of the most recognisable, over-analysed and well-paid celebrity figures of the age.

But as he announced his retirement from playing on Thursday, days after adding the French championship to a collection of medals that includes six Premier League trophies, plus titles in the US and Spain, the 38-year-old said he had realised all the ambitions he nurtured as a schoolboy playing on Hackney Marshes.

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