David Beckham Announces Retirement

A Brief History of David Beckham
Harry Goodwin / Rex USA

Slick and Sharp
Beckham signed a Youth Training Scheme contract in 1991 with his beloved United. The boy wonder announced his arrival on the soccer scene in August 1996 by scoring a spectacular goal from inside his own half on the opening day of the season. Beckham was voted Young Player of the Year for 1996-97, scoring an impressive eight goals in 40 appearances.

Get the Latest Photos from Time.com
Get TIME photos and pictures of the week delivered directly to your inbox.