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Who is a famous English footballer? People in every country know his name. Manchester United’s Number 7, the captain of England, and now Real Madrid’s Number 23...
The Schoolboy Footballer On 2 May 1975, David Beckham came into the world in London. His father and mother, Ted and Sandra Beckham, were big football fans. Every Christmas little David had a new football and a new football shirt from his father. It was always a Manchester United shirt. The family lived in London, but his father was a very big fan of ‘the reds’.
David wasn’t very good at school. Schoolwork wasn’t interesting or important for him. But he liked playing football. He played with a ball every weekend and every day after school, usually with friends or with his father. His father played football too and he was a good teacher. David was small and thin then, but his legs were strong. He liked running very quickly with the ball at his feet. He did long kicks and short kicks, again and again, every day. In 1986 he was eleven years old and was a good little footballer.
One day there was an advertisement on television for a competition. It was a football competition for schoolboys at the Bobby Charlton Football School. “Can I try the competition?” – David asked his father. “You’re very young,” – his father said. “The boys in this competition are usually big and strong, and fifteen or sixteen years old. But you can try. Why not?” His father went with David to the football school. David was small and thin. But he tried and won.
“His name’s David Beckham,” - David’s father smiled. “And one day he’s going to play football for Manchester United and England.”
The Red Shirt with the Number Seven At thirteen he went to a football school for boys at Manchester United. At sixteen years old, David was a boy player for Manchester United. At seventeen he played his first game for Manchester United against Brighton. In September 1996, David played for England for the first time. After that he played for his country many times and in November 2000, in a friendly game against Italy, he was the new captain.
The year 1999 was very Happy for David. That year he married Victoria. One day Victoria went to a Manchester United game and there was David Backham. Later they talked, but David didn’t say much to her. He wanted to be her friend, but she was very famous. He wasn’t. He was only a footballer. A month later they talked again after a game in Manchester, and soon they became good friend. In July 1999 he married her. It was the big story in the newspapers: “Football star marries singing star”. After that “Posh and Becks” were always in the newspapers.
In 2002 the final games of the World Cup were in Japan and Korea. England won their early games with no problems. The England players arrived in Tokyo before the final games and went to their hotel in bus. On their way to the hotel there were a lot of Japanese people – England fans. They were shouting : “Bekkamu! Bekkamu!” It was David’s name in Japanese. For David the big day was 7 June 2002. England beat Argentina 1- 0, a famous win. David scored the only goal. The World Cup in 2002 was a very good and interesting competition. England didn’t win. Brazil beat Germany in the final game. But England played well.
David loves children, all children. He gives a lot of time and money to ill children. He writes to them. Sometimes he and Victoria visit them. In March 1999 Victoria had Brooklyn, their first son. David was a father. Then in September 2002, Brooklyn had a little brother. His name is Romeo. At two years old Brooklyn had his first little red Manchester United shirt with his name on it. Their third son, Cruz, was born in February 2005. “Posh and Becks” make a lot of money. They don’t put all of it in the bank. They buy a lot of things, expensive things. David’s photo is always in the newspapers and on television. People see him in this coat, in those shoes, with that telephone, and then they want to have those things too. He makes a lot of money every year from advertisements. Victoria makes a lot of money too, from her music, but the big money comes from David.
The year 2003 was a very important year for David Beckham. First, Manchester United won a big competition. Then, in the summer, there was a new story in every newspaper:'Real Madrid buys Beckham for £25,000,000'. After twelve years with Manchester United, David moved to Spain. His father was unhappy, but the move was good for David. Real Madrid and its players - Zidane, Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Raul, Figo — are famous in every country in the world. People like reading about him, his family, his houses, his hair. Children in many countries know his name. They play football in his shirt. They want to be famous. They want to be David Beckham.
Now David has a new white shirt for Real Madrid. He has a new number, 23. But he is the same David Beckham.
Activities Before you read 1. Talk about these questions. a Why is Victoria Beckham famous? b Where were the World Cup Final games in 2002? While you read 2. Are these sentences right (+) or wrong (-)? a David married Victoria in 1999. b Germany won the World Cup in 2002. c The name of David's first child is Romeo
After you read 3. Answer these questions. a Why was the game against Argentina in 2002 a very happy game for David? b David and Victoria have a lot of money. Where does it come from? Writing 4. You are David Beckham. You are in Japan for the World Cup 2002. Write a letter to Victoria in England. Write about the Japanese fans and the game with Argentina. 5. Why do children want to be David Beckham? Write about this for a newspaper.