Real Madrid

Manchester United had been keen to sell Beckham to FC Barcelona but instead he signed a four-year contract with Real Madrid, with the transfer fee being about 35 million (£25m). The transfer was completed on 1 July 2003 and made him the third Englishman to play for the club after Laurie Cinningham and Steve McManaman. Although Beckham had worn the number seven shirt for Manchester United and England, he was unable to wear it at Madrid as it was currently assigned to club captain Raul. He decided to wear number 23 instead, citing his admiration of basketball playerMichael Jordan, who also wore the number 23 shirt, as the reason behind his decision. Real Madrid won the Spanish Super Cup, were runners up in the copa del Rey, were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League at the quarter-final stage and finished the league season in fourth place. But, Beckham immediately became a favourite with the Real Madrid supporters, scoring five times in his first 16 matches (including scoring less than three minutes into his La Liga debut), but the team, whose club president expected them to win either the Spanish league or the Champions League each season, did not match expectations. In July 2004, while Beckham was in pre-season training in Spain, an intruder scaled a wall at the Beckhams' home while carrying a can of petrol. Victoria and their children were in the house at the time, but security guards apprehended the man before he reached the house. Beckham made more headlines on 9 October 2004 when he admitted intentionally fouling Ben Thatcher in an England match against Wales in order to get himself booked. Beckham was due to receive a one-match suspension for his next caution, and had picked up an injury, which he knew would keep him out of England's next match, so he deliberately fouled Thatcher in order to serve his suspension in a match that he would have had to miss anyway. The Football Assotiation asked Beckham for an explanation of his actions and he admitted that he had "made a mistake" and apologised. He was sent off shortly afterwards, this time in a league match for Real Madrid against Valencia CF. Having received a yellow card, he was judged to have sarcastically applauded the referee and was given a second yellow card, causing an automatic dismissal, although the suspension was cancelled on appeal two days later. He was sent off for the third time that season on 3 December 2005 in a league match against Getafe CF. In that season, Beckham led La Liga in number of assists.  During the season, Beckham established football academies in Los Angeles and east London and he was named a judge for the 2006 British Book Awards. Real Madrid finished second to Barcelona in the 2005–06 La Liga, albeit with a large 12-point gap, and reached the last sixteen only in the Champions League after losing to Arsenal. In 2007, Real Madrid won their first Spanish La Liga title in three years because of their superior head-to-head record against Barcelona, giving Beckham his second title since he joined Real Madrid and the 30th Liga for the club. Initially out of favour with manager Fabio Capello, Beckham started only a few games at the beginning of the season, as the speedier José Antonio Reyes was normally preferred on the right wing. In the first nine matches Beckham started, Real lost seven. On 10 January 2007, after prolonged contract negotiations, Real Madrid's sporting director Predrag Mijatović announced that Beckham would not remain at Real Madrid after the end of the season. However, he later claimed that he was mistranslated and that he actually said that Beckham's contract had not yet been renewed. On 11 January 2007, Beckham announced that he had signed a five-year deal to play for Los Angeles Galaxy beginning 1 July 2007. On 13 January 2007, Fabio Capello said that Beckham had played his last game for Real Madrid, although he would continue to train with the team. Capello backtracked on that statement and Beckham rejoined the team for their match against Real Sociedad on 10 February 2007 – he scored and Real Madrid won. In his final UEFA Champions League appearance, Real Madrid were knocked out of the competition (by the away goals rule) on 7 March 2007. Beckham had made a total of 103 appearances in the Champions League, the third highest number of any player at the time. On 17 June 2007, the last day of the La Liga season, Beckham started in his final match for the club, a 3–1 win over RCD Mallorca, which saw them clinch the title from Barcelona. Although he limped off the field, he was replaced by Jose Antonio Reyes who scored two goals and the team won the season's La Liga title, their first since Beckham had signed with them. Although both finished level on points, Madrid took the title because of their superior head-to-head record, capping a remarkable six-month turnaround for Beckham. At the end of the season, Real Madrid announced that they would try to untie David Beckham's transfer to LA Galaxy with him playing with improved form, but were unsuccessful. A month after the conclusion of Beckham's Real career, Forbes magazine reported that he had been the party primarily responsible for the team's huge increase in merchandise sales, a total reported to top US$600 million during Beckham's four years at the club.Los Angeles Galaxy – It was confirmed on 11 January 2007 that David Beckham would be leaving Real Madrid to join Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy. Beckham's contract with Los Angeles Galaxy took effect on 11 July, and on 13 July, was officially unveiled as a Galaxy player at The home Depot Centre. Beckham chose to wear number 23. It was announced that Galaxy jersey sales had already reached a record figure of over 250,000 prior to this formal introduction. On 21 July, Beckham made his Galaxy debut after coming on in the 78th minute in a 1–0 loss to Chelsea during the World Series of soccer. Two weeks later, Beckham made his league debut as a substitute on 9 August versus DC United. Beckham returned to the pitch the following week, again facing DC United, in the SuperLiga semi-final on 15 August. During this game he had many firsts with the Galaxy; his first start, first yellow card and first game as team captain. He also scored his first goal for the team, from a free kick, and also made his first assist, for Landon Donovan in the second half. These goals gave the team a 2–0 victory, and a place in the North SuperLiga final versus Pachuda on 29 August. During the SuperLiga final against Pachuca, Beckham injured his right knee, with an MRI scan revealing that he had sprained his medial collateral ligamnent and would be out for six weeks. He returned to play in the final home match of the season. The Galaxy were eliminated from playoff contention on 21 October, in the final MLS match of the season, a 1–0 loss to the Chicago Fire. Beckham played as a substitute in the match, bringing his season totals to eight matches played (5 league); one goal scored (0 league); and three assists (2 league). Beckham trained with Arsenal from 4 January 2008 for three weeks, until he returned to the Galaxy for pre-season training. Beckham scored his first league goal with the Galaxy on 3 April against the San Jose Earthquakes in the 9th minute. On 24 May 2008, the Galaxy defeated the Kansas City Wizards 3–1, giving the Galaxy their first winning record in two years and moving the club into first place in the Western Conference. In the match Beckham scored an empty-net goal from 70 yards out. The goal marked the second time in Beckham's career that he had scored from his own half, the other being a 1996 goal from the halfway line against Wimbledon at SelhurstPark. Overall, however, the Galaxy had a disappointing year, failing to qualify for the end-of-season play-offs. After his return from Milan, many LA fans showed dislike and anger towards him as he missed the first half of the season and several held up signs saying "Go home fraud", and "Part time player". However, the Galaxy had a much more successful season than in previous years, rising from third to first in the Western Conference during Beckham's time with them. He remained a key part of the squad which saw Galaxy win the 2009 Western Conference final after a 2–0 overtime victory over the Houston Dynamo. In the final on 22 November 2009, the Galaxy lost to RealSaltLake by 5–4 in a penalty shoot-out after a 1–1 draw. Beckham also scored in the shootout. Loan To Milan In 2008, Beckham's success in the England national team under Fabio Capello led to speculation that he might return to Europe in order to retain match fitness for the World Cup Qualifying matches in 2009. On 30 October 2008, Milan announced that Beckham was to join them on loan from 7 January 2009. Despite this and other speculation, Beckham made it clear that the move in no way signalled his intent to leave MLS and announced his intent to return to the Galaxy in time for the start of the 2009 season in March. Many at Milan both within and outside of the club expressed serious reservations about the transfer, with it considered by some players no more than a marketing move. At Milan, he chose the number 32 shirt previously worn by Christian Vieri, as both the number 7 and 23 shirts were already used by other players. After his physical, Beckham was told by a club doctor that he believed he can continue playing football for another five years, when he will be 38. Beckham made his Serie A debut for Milan against Roma on 11 January 2009 and played 89 minutes of the 2–2 draw. He scored his first goal in Serie A for Milan in a 4–1 victory over Bologna on 25 January, his third appearance for the club. Though Beckham was expected to return to L.A. in March, after impressing at the Italian club, scoring two goals in his first four matches and assisting on several more, rumours began to swirl that Beckham would stay in Milan, with the Italian club reportedly offering to pay a multi-million dollar fee for the English legend. The rumours were confirmed on 4 February, when Beckham stated that he was seeking a permanent transfer to Milan, in a bid to sustain his England career through the 2010 World Cup. However, Milan failed to match Galaxy's valuation of Beckham, in the US$10–15 million range. However, negotiations continued during a month of speculation. On 2 March, the Los Angeles Times reported that Beckham's loan had been extended through mid-July. This was later confirmed by Beckham, revealing what was described as a unique "timeshare" deal, in which Beckham would play with L.A. from mid-July till the end of the 2009 MLS season. Second Spell At Milan In November 2009, it was confirmed that Beckham would return to Milan for a second loan period beginning in January 2010.On 6 January 2010, Beckham made a winning return in a Milan shirt, playing 75 minutes of a 5–2 victory over Genoa. On 16 February 2010, Beckham played against Manchester United for the first time since he left the club in 2003. He played 76 minutes of the match at the San Siro – which ended 3–2 to Manchester United – before being substituted by Clarence Seedorf. Beckham then returned to Old Trafford for the second leg of the tie on 10 March 2010; he did not start the match, but was substituted on after 64 minutes to a positive reception from the Manchester United fans. The match was the first time Beckham had played against Manchester United at Old Trafford and saw him create several scoring opportunities via crosses and corner kicks, but Manchester United dominated Milan and beat them 4–0, winning the tie 7–2. In Milan's next game, against Chievo Verona, Beckham suffered a probable torn left Achilles tendon. Now he will miss the World Cup as well as the MLS season due to the injury which is likely to take him out of action for the next six to eight months. Doctor Sakari Orava performed surgery on Beckham's tendon in Turku, Finland, on 15 March 2010. After the operation, Orava affirmed that "everything went well so far"