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FROM GALACTICOS TO THE GALAXY: BECKHAM COMES TO L.A.

Career highlights

January 12, 2007

* 1991: Joins Manchester United as a trainee.

* 1992: Makes debut for United against Brighton in League Cup. Wins FA Youth Cup.

* 1993: Signs professional contract at Old Trafford.

* 1995: Joins Preston on loan, scores two goals in five games.

* 1996: Helps Manchester United win the Premier League-FA Cup double. Scores the goal of the season on the opening day at Wimbledon. Makes England debut in 3-0 qualifying win in Moldova.

* 1997: Collects another championship winners' medal and voted Professional Footballers' Assn. young player of the year.

* 1998: Scores first goal for England, a free kick against Colombia in World Cup. Sent off in second-round defeat against Argentina for kicking Diego Simeone. Vilified by media and fans for the red card, which many believe forced England into a penalty shootout.

* 1999: Responds to World Cup disgrace with strong performances for United, which wins the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League. Voted runner-up for world player of the year behind Rivaldo. Marries Spice Girl singer Victoria Adams three months after birth of son Brooklyn.

* 2000: Sent off in United's opening World Club Championship match against Mexican team Necaxa for high challenge on Jose Milian. Left off United team for the Premier League match against Leeds after reports of argument with Coach Alex Ferguson. Collects fourth championship medal as United wins the league title by a record 18 points. England eliminated from group stage of the European Championship. Named England captain for first time in November friendly with Italy by interim Coach Peter Taylor.

* 2001: England Coach Sven-Goran Eriksson appoints Beckham captain for his first match in charge, a friendly against Spain. Collects another league title with Manchester United. Captains England to 5-1 World Cup qualifying win in Germany. Curls in a 25-yard last-minute free kick against Greece at Old Trafford to earn England a 2-2 draw and clinch a place in the World Cup. Beckham named runner-up behind Luis Figo for world player of the year.

* 2002: Victoria Beckham gives birth to second son, Romeo. Beckham breaks bone in left foot in the second leg of Champions League quarterfinals. Signs new three-year contract with United reported to be worth about $195,000 a week. Scores on a penalty kick against Argentina for the only goal in a 1-0 World Cup win. England loses in quarterfinals to eventual winner Brazil.

* 2003: Ferguson accidentally kicks a boot in Beckham's face after a loss to Arsenal in the FA Cup, leaving Beckham with a cut over his left eye. Beckham left out of starting lineup for United's crucial Champions League quarterfinal second-leg game with Real Madrid at Old Trafford. Beckham scores twice as a substitute, but the Red Devils lose, 6-5, on aggregate. Beckham fractures a bone in right wrist in a 2-1 victory over South Africa. On June 17, Manchester and Real Madrid announce that Beckham will join the Spanish club in a four-year deal worth $41.35 million. Beckham scores five goals in his first 16 matches.

* 2004: Beckham is the subject of accusations of adultery from two women. He denies both. Later plays in all of England's matches at Euro 2004 but misses a penalty kick in a 2-1 loss to France and misses another in a quarterfinal shootout loss to host Portugal. Madrid loses to Zaragoza in extra time in Copa del Rey final: the closest Beckham comes to winning a major trophy while with the Spanish team. Madrid finishes in fourth place in the league.

* 2005: Against Austria, Beckham becomes the first England captain to be sent off and the first player to be sent off twice while playing for England. Shortly afterward, he is sent off in a league game: It is the first of three red cards that season for Real Madrid. He opens a David Beckham Academy in Carson and east London. His third son, Cruz, is born. Real Madrid finishes in second place and is knocked out of the Champions League in the second round.

* 2006: Helps England reach quarterfinals at World Cup, scoring on a free kick in second round to beat Ecuador, 1-0. Against Portugal, Beckham limps out of England's quarterfinal loss with ankle and Achilles' tendon injuries and sits tearfully on the side as his team is eliminated in a penalty shootout. Steps down as England captain a day later, and incoming Coach Steve McClaren then drops him from the team on Aug. 11. Beckham had been captain for 58 of his 94 England appearances. In November, Beckham is requested to return to Spain and skip Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' wedding in Italy by Madrid Coach Fabio Capello. Beckham, injured at the time, instead watches the game from the stands. Major League Soccer passes the "Beckham Rule." The new rule gives MLS teams the authority to acquire players outside the $2-million-per-team salary cap. Real Madrid again finishes second to Barcelona in the league.

* 2007: On Jan. 11, Beckham agrees to a five-year contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy but will finish the season with Real Madrid. The contract, reportedly worth $250 million, includes sponsorships and merchandising.

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Source: Associated Press

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