David Beckham born 2nd May 1975 is an English footballer, brand icon and one of the richest athletes in the world with an estimated net worth of approximately $190 million (£125m).
Although he is a footballer by profession he is as well-known for the David Beckham brand as his football, with endorsements and/or product lines ranging from underwear to fragrances to sunglasses, mobile phones to engine oil.
He is married to Victoria Beckham with their joint financial arrangements handled through a company called Beckham Brand Ltd which in turn is also joint owned with XIX management Ltd which is owned by the man who created the Spice Girls and media guru Simon Fuller.
Beckham’s professional football career began in 1992 when aged just 17 he signed with Manchester United. He and the team won the Premier league title six times, the FA Cup title twice and the UEFA champions league in 1999. In January 2003 he left Manchester United and signed with Real Madrid where he stayed for four seasons, winning the La Liga championship in the final season.
In 2007 Beckham surprised everyone when he announced that he would be leaving real Madrid and signing for the American Major League Soccer club Los Angeles Galaxy with a five-year contract. Whilst he was at the Los Angeles Galaxy club he took two loan spells in Italy with AC Milan in 2009 and 2010.
He is now one of a small number of players to have won three different league titles in three different countries. After Los Angeles won their third cup title. In January 2013 he signed a five-month deal to play for the French League 1 club Paris Saint Germain and controversially confirmed his entire salary of £700,000 per month would be donated to a local children’s charity, and thus avoiding paying the stinging French top rate of tax of 75% on his entire worldwide income.
He started his international career with England in September 1996 at the age of 21. In November 2000 and up to 2006 he captained the English team 58 times and he earned his 100th cap against France in March 2008. He has now had 115 career appearances to date but shows no sign of retiring from international football.
David Beckham has been runner-up in the FISA world player of the year twice now and in 2004 was the world’s highest-paid footballer after accounting for both salary and advertising deals. When in 2007 he joined the major league soccer club Los Angeles Galaxy he was the highest paid player in the league’s history with a contract which was worth $6.5 million per year.
Even though his football fortunes and fitness appear to be on a downturn he still has major pulling power when it comes to sponsorship deals with contracts including games maker Electronic Arts, Diet Pepsi and Yahoo. He still has his multi million pound sponsorship deal with Adidas which is believed to be the largest in football. Beckham has also enjoyed a mega pay cheques from Armani where his three-year deal was worth £20 million and Coty which she signed over eight years ago in a deal worth £4 million.
With his involvement in the successful bid for the London 2012 Olympics and his face appearing almost in every magazine and newspaper, he is sure to secure many more big deals in the future.
In 2003 and 2004 Beckham was the most searched for sports related name on the Internet and received almost £10 million in 2008 and £8 million in 2009 in endorsement deals with his London based Footwork Productions company.
Such is his star power, he only has to mention an item to send its sales rocketing. Lego found this out when he told an interviewer he had built a Lego Taj Mahal where on holiday in Italy. Sales of Lego were boosted sixfold in just one day.
At his wedding to Victoria in 1999 they sold the exclusive rights to OK! Magazine for £1 million which more than covered the costs of the lavish affair and was one of the most expensive photo deals for a wedding.
David Beckham is also an avid car driver and is reported to of owned over 40 cars so far including Porsche 911 Cabriolet, Rolls-Royce Drophead Coupe, Cadillac Escalade, Jeep Wrangler, Range Rover sport, Lamborghini Gallardo.
He is also a savvy art collector and has built up a considerable art collection worth over £30 million with works by Damien Hirst, Sam Taylor Wood and Tracey Emin and with most of the pieces bought from the White Cube gallery in London.
The Beckham’s have several houses around the world including a luxury seven bedroom house in Beverly Hills purchased for $28 million in 2007 after Beckham’s signing to LA Galaxy. For European getaways he also has a house in Bergermon in the south of France worth £2 million. A property in Madrid worth £3 million and a villa in Dubai worth £8 million. There main house in England is the much famed “Beckingham Palace” in Hertfordshire. It was originally bought for £2.5 million in 1999 and is now thought to be worth of £6.5 million.