Soccer

Ups and downs in David Beckham's career

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LONDON (AP)

Some up and downs in the career of David Beckham, who on Thursday announced his retirement from soccer:

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Up: Signs professional contract with Manchester United in 1993 and helps team win Premier League-FA Cup double in 1996. United wins league title again a year later.

Down: Gets red card for kicking Diego Simeone in England's second-round match against Argentina at 1998 World Cup in France. Some angry England fans blame him for loss and hang him in effigy.

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Up: Helps Man United win Champions League-Premier League-FA Cup treble in 1999, and becomes captain of England in 2000. In 2001, scores last-second free kick against Greece to qualify England for 2002 World Cup.

Down: Leaves Man United for Real Madrid after shoe kicked by manager Alex Ferguson hits Beckham in eye in 2003. A year later, former personal aide Rebecca Loos said she and Beckham had 10-day affair. He dismisses that as ''ludicrous'' and ''absurd.''

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Up: Scores from free kick against Ecuador to put England into 2006 World Cup quarterfinals, but limps off field in next match because of injury and breaks down in tears. A day later, Beckham steps down as captain.

Down: Not included in Steve McClaren's first squad as England coach.

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Up: After being dropped by Real Madrid coach Fabio Capello following his decision to move to Los Angeles Galaxy, Beckham works his way back into starting lineup and helps team win Spanish league title. His good form earns a recall to England squad. In 2008 he sets record for most England appearances for a player other than a goalkeeper, and finishes with 115.

Down: Injures his Achilles tendon while playing on loan at AC Milan and is ruled out of 2010 World Cup.

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Up: Wins two MLS titles with Galaxy and then another with Paris Saint-Germain this season, making him a league champion in four countries.

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