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May 19, 2013

Beckham calls an end to his career

David Beckham has likely played the final game of his illustrious career, confirming to reporters that Paris Saint-Germain's 3-1 win over Brest on Saturday was "the end".

• Johnson: PSG celebrate title

Beckham, 38, was handed the captaincy as PSG continued their Ligue 1 title celebrations with a victory and he appeared stricken by emotion after the full-time whistle and was embraced by his team-mates.

PSG have one match remaining in their league campaign, against Lorient next week, but it is believed Beckham will not feature for the French champions as he revealed his monumental career has come to a close.

"To finish my career here is special. Paris is the most beautiful place in the world. I'm sad to go," he told reporters after the match.

"I feel a lot of satisfaction and emotion. Tonight is the end of my career, for sure. I've done my time at all the clubs where I've been, be it Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy.

"Now, we'll see what happens. After a 22-year career, I'm going to take a few months off to relax with my family. I said before that, one way or another, I would stay in Paris. It's special for me here and I want to continue to be part of PSG, one way or another."

In an interview with Sky Sports News, Beckham suggested the pitch at Lorient means he is unlikely to play a part.

"We'll see. There's a plastic pitch next weekend. I ruptured my Achilles a few years ago, so it's not great for it," he said. "Like I said, tonight was very special. I'll be part of the team next week. Whether I play or not, who knows?

"Tonight was a nice way to go out - in front of my own fans, in front of a capacity crowd that were excited because we've won the league. The celebrations have been incredible, so it's a nice way to walk off the pitch. To go out like I did tonight couldn't have been any more perfect."

Beckham went on to speak of his honour at being named captain for the Ligue 1 clash and admitted he was overwhelmed by the support of his team-mates but insists he is bowing out at the right time.

"It's really special for an Englishman to be captain of PSG - especially on a night that meant so much to the club and the players," he added. "It was an amazing gesture and one I'll always be thankful for.

"It (the emotion) started 20 minutes before then. The emotions started kicking in. It was hard to run, let alone kick a ball. It was an emotional night. To see the reaction of the players, of the fans, when I came off was special.

"Physically, I feel great. I actually felt great tonight. Physically, I think I've made the decision knowing that I wanted to still feel good at the end of my career and I do feel good. But I know it's the right time."

Although Beckham only joined PSG in January, his team-mates were eager to prove their admiration of the midfielder.

"I was lucky to be with him here in the capital," Mamadou Sakho told Canal +. "Is there anything more beautiful?

"It was a very emotional exit, especially given the scope of his career. He brought us his joie de vivre, and above all the simplicity of life both on and off the pitch.

"A little anecdote, for example: we organised a barbecue at Sylvain Armand's house, he was called, and he came to eat sausages with us in Sylvain's garden!"

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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