David Beckham bid a tearful farewell to Paris Saint-Germain fans on Saturday when he was replaced late in the club's 3-1 victory over Brest, hugging teammates and opponents as he departed the pitch to a standing ovation in the 81st minute.
It appears the legendary English midfielder has played his final football game at the highest professional level. Rumors are that he will not take the field when PSG, already France's Ligue 1 champion, plays its final game of the season.
As he walked to the sideline Saturday, tears rolled down his face. He knew the waterworks were only a matter of time.
"To end my career in front of a crowd like that, with players like that, it's very special," Beckham said. "It started about 20 minutes before that, to be honest. I started thinking and then, you know, I couldn't concentrate by then, and it was difficult. You know, you try to hold the emotion back because it is what it is, but it's difficult."
The former England national star won championships with four clubs, beginning with Manchester United and continuing with Real Madrid, the Los Angeles Galaxy and finally Paris Saint-Germain.
As he was in his final MLS Cup title game with the Galaxy, Beckham celebrated his departure in postgame festivities with the Union Jack draped around his shoulders. Fans serenaded him with song and when he addressed the crowd, the Beatles classic "Hello, Goodbye" was played.
"Merci, Paris," Beckham told the PSG faithful. "I'm very sad to be leaving, but thank you."