FRANCE: David Beckham kicks his last ball

France

An emotional David Beckham received a standing ovation tonight as he left the pitch in what appeared to be his final game as a professional footballer.

In a unique turn of events, Paris Saint-Germain’s game against Brest was briefly halted as Beckham, captain for the night, was substituted after 81 minutes, his team-mates congregating in the middle of the pitch to applaud him.

20130518 - David Beckham retirement

As he walked off the field in tears, Beckham embraced his teammates and the thousands of fans rose to their feet to cheer.

The 38-year-old announced his retirement this week, with coach Carlo Ancelotti confirming he would play in the club’s final match at the Parc des Princes this season.

A statement from PSG on the eve of the game confirmed the former England captain would also lead the team on to the field. “David Beckham will wear the captain’s armband tonight during his last match at the Parc des Princes,” the statement read. “A tribute will be paid to British midfielder who announced this week he would take his retirement at the end of this season.”

PSG clinched their first Ligue 1 title in 19 years following a 1-0 win at Lyon last weekend. It meant Beckham, who joined PSG in the winter on a short-term deal, has won league titles in four different countries – England, Spain, the US and France.

PSG will wrap up their season away to Lorient next weekend, although Ancelotti has refused to confirm whether Beckham will play in that match.

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