British famous people: David Beckham / Британские известные люди: Дэвид Бекхэм

Many people around the world can honestly say they have heard of David Beckham. Both on and off the field he attracts an enormous amount of publicity and has become an icon for the twenty-first century. But what do we know about this British sporting hero's life and career?

David Robert Joseph Beckham OBE (born May 2, 1975) is an English footballer born in Leytonstone, London. He is a midfielder for Real Madrid and captain of the English national team. He is noted for the quality of his crossing and ability to hit free-kicks and corners, and also for his marriage to a Spice Girl. He has played most of his career for Manchester United (1995—2003).

Beckham first signed a YTS (youth training scheme) contract with United in 1991, and made his League debut in 1995, aged 19. The next year he helped the side to the Premiership and FA Cup trophies. In the 1998—99 seasons, he was part of the United team that won the "treble" — Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League. In total, Beckham scored 86 goals in 397 games for Man United, a rate of roughly 2 goals every 9 games, highly commendable for a midfielder.

On June 17, 2003, Beckham signed a four-year contract with Real Madrid of Spain, potentially worth up to €35 million. His transfer to Real Madrid has proven very fruitful for both Beckham and the club. Beckham scored five times in his first 16 matches. He has become a favourite of the notoriously fickle Real Madrid crowd, and established an excellent playing relationship with Ronaldo.

Beckham's highly publicized marriage to Spice Girl and media celebrity Victoria Adams. They have three sons. Beckham is well-known for his frequent hairstyle changes and has changed his hairstyle for many times after being criticized for influencing teenagers' hairstyle. In 2001, Beckham became the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. In the summer of 2003, Beckham was made an OBE in Queen Elizabeth II's honours list.

To sum up, David Beckham is not only among the best football players, but is one of the leading personalities of our times.

Словарь

OBE - Officer of the Order of the British Empire - кавалер ордена Британской империи 4-й степени

a midfielder — полузащитник

to hit free-kicks and corners — отбивать свободные подачи мяча и угловые удары

the "treble" —тройня

highly commendable — высокопохвальный

the notoriously fickle crowd — пресловутая, переменчивая толпа

to score — забивать (голы, очки)