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Already crowned Ligue 1 champions, PSG strolled to a 3-1 win against Brest in David Beckham's final match in Paris before his retirement. Beckham was given a rare start and wore the captain's armband, along with a special pair of boots (pictured below) he designed himself with the names of each of his four kids and the shirt numbers he wore throughout his career. When he was subbed off in the 82nd minute, he was in tears as his 20-year career comes to an end at the age of 38.
Though PSG still has one more match at Lorient, PSG's president suggested this was, in fact, Beckham's last game and his emotional exit seems to back that up. Beckham assisted PSG's second goal against Brest with one of his signature corner kicks, which Blaise Matuidi headed into the net. After the final whistle, Beckham returned to the pitch all smiles and his teammates tossed him into the air.
"I think over the years, when I've seen players retire — when you ask them about it, they always say 'You know when you're ready.' And I think I know when I'm ready," Beckham said after announcing his retirement earlier this week. "I think I'm ready. Obviously it's a difficult decision because I still feel I can play at the top level — and still have done for the last six months. But I always secretly said to myself that I want to go out at the top." He also joked that he knew it was time to retire "when [Lionel] Messi was running past me," in the Champions League quarterfinals.
Though his celebrity transcended his sport because he married a Spice Girl, advertised products around the world and even became an underpants mogul, he always cared deeply about his football and it showed. "I just want people to see me as a hard-working footballer," Beckham says. And now he finishes his career with 10 domestic league titles in four different countries (a mark no other Englishman has reached), a record 115 caps for England and twice runner-up for the World Player of the Year award. If he was just in it for the money or the fame or swooning admirers, he wouldn't have accomplished half of what he did. Nor would he have shed a tear as he came off the pitch for the last time.