Soccer-player-turned-international-celebrity David Beckham announced he would step down as England’s captain after the team was defeated by Portugal in the quarter finals of the World Cup.
“I feel the time is right to pass on the armband as we enter a new era under new coach Steve McClaren,” Beckham, 31, said at a press conference in Germany.
Beckham was crowned the captain in 2000 by England caretaker manager Peter Taylor.
“On 15 November 2000 Peter Taylor gave me the greatest honour of my career in making me the captain of England, fulfilling my childhood dream,” Beckham said through tears. “It has been an honour and a privilege to have captained our country and I want to stress that I wish to continue to play for England and look forward to helping both the new captain and Steve McClaren in any way I can.”
Beckham, who is married to former Spice Girl Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham, was forced to leave the game against Portugal due to a leg injury.
“Our performance during this World Cup has not been enough to progress further and both myself and all the players regret that and are hurt by that more than people realise,” he said. “I wish to thank all the players for their support during my time as captain, as well as Peter Taylor, Sven and all the coaches.
“I would also like to thank the press and, of course, all the England supporters who have both been great to me and my team-mates. I want them to know for me it has been an absolute honour.”