Beckham: Time's right

David Beckham and Gary Neville were a hugely successful partnership for Manchester United and England so, when the former Three Lions captain opted to retire from football, his close friend was one of the first to speak to him about his decision.

Last Updated: 16/05/13 at 18:38 Post Comment

Here are some extracts from Neville's chat with Beckham - check out the video at the top of the page to see the interview in full.

Gary Neville: You've just announced your retirement, why now?

David Beckham: "You know when you're ready and I think I know I'm ready. It's a difficult decision because I still feel I could play at the top level and have done for the last six months but I always secretly said to myself I want to go out at the top and if you'd have said to me eight months ago I'd be playing in the French league, winning the French cup and league and finishing like this I would have probably said 'absolutely no chance' but i was given the opportunity to come to PSG and I just feel now is the time."

Neville: You think or you know?

Beckham: "I think... I love the game so much! I just feel that it's the right time. I believe it's the right time but I'll always feel that I could do more - that's the problem!"

Neville: When did that moment come, when did it hit you?

Beckham:"Probably when Messi was running past me! I actually don't know. I just feel that I've been so lucky throughout my career. The fact that I've played for the clubs that I've played for; the players that I've played for and won the trophies that i've won. Playing in the MLS last year, winning the championship there and then coming to PSG and winning the French league here, I think it's a good way to go out."

Neville: You've always gone out on a high at every club - at United winning the league, Madrid, the MLS with La Galaxy last year... Is that important to you what's happened in the last few weeks with PSG, that you've gone out as a winner?

Beckham: "I think it's every athlete's dream, every footballer's dream to go out at the top or by winning a trophy. It doesn't happen that often but I've been lucky. When I left United we won the league; when I left Madrid we won the league; leaving the Galaxy after two years of winning the championship there and obviously coming here and winning the league - it's nice to go out like that. People look back and it's written, it's simple - you're leaving as a champion and that's why I think it's the right time.

Neville: How do you want to be remembered as a footballer and person over this past 22 years and everything that you've achieved?

Beckham: I just want people to see me as a hard working footballer. Someone that's passionate about the game and someone that every time I stepped on the pitch I've given everything that I have because that's how I feel. Going into games at the end of my career that's how I look back on it and hope people see me.

"I think over the years it's been my life and my career. People have looked at certain other things that have gone on throughout my career and sometimes that's overshadowed what I've done on the pitch or what I've achieved on the pitch and as much as I say that doesn't hurt me, of course it does.

"At the end of the day I'm a footballer that has played for some of the biggest clubs in the world and played with some of the best players in the world; played under some of the biggest and best managers and achieved almost everything in football and I think of course it hurts when people, not question it, but think about other things.

"And to come to the end of my career and look back and say, I've achieved everything with every club that I've played for. I've played for my country 115 times; been World Player of the Year runner-up twice to two amazing footballers; I'm very proud of that."

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