David Beckham’s England soccer career will be honored at the team’s final European Championship warmup match, with the former captain receiving an award from UEFA, the continent’s soccer governing body, for players who have at least 100 international appearances.
The 37-year-old Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder, who made the last of his 115 appearances for England in 2009, will receive a commemorative cap and medal at halftime of the June 2 exhibition match against Belgium at Wembley in London, the English Football Association said.
The award will also be presented to 1966 World Cup-winning forward Bobby Charlton, who played 106 times for England, and retired goalkeeper Peter Shilton, who made a record 125 appearances.
Family members of 1966 World Cup captain Bobby Moore and Billy Wright, a defender in the 1940s and 1950s, will receive the award from FA chairman David Bernstein.
Despite never winning any honors with England, Beckham established himself as the biggest star English soccer has produced.
“Throughout my career I’ve been pretty successful,” Beckham said last week.
“I’ve played for some pretty big teams. I’ve played for my country quite a few times and for managers without sentiment ... I’m very proud of the fact and I have always found it an honor that people want to buy my shirt, that fans turn up to watch the team I am playing in or to see myself. I’ve always found that a huge honor,” Beckham said.
After beginning his career at Manchester United in 1992, Beckham made his England debut against Moldova in September 1996.
The low point of his international career came at his first World Cup, in 1998, when he was sent off for petulantly kicking out at Argentine midfielder Diego Simeone.
Beckham managed to bounce back and his injury-time goal on a free kick against Greece clinched a World Cup berth. He then captained the team at the 2002 World Cup under coach Sven-Goran Eriksson.