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Saturday, May 25, 2013
David Beckham's soccer career officially over

Associated Press

PARIS -- David Beckham's soccer career is officially over.

The veteran midfielder was not included in Paris Saint-Germain's squad to play Lorient in Sunday's season-ending game, meaning his tearful farewell at the Parc des Princes last Saturday was Beckham's final match before retiring.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti had said last weekend Beckham was unlikely to play at Lorient, having bid an emotional adieu to fans in his last home game. Beckham received a standing ovation as he left the field last Saturday, having been involved in two of his team's goals in the 3-1 win against Brest.

It was his 14th game and fifth start since joining PSG in a surprise move on the last day of the transfer window, and he was appointed captain for the match. He set up PSG's second goal against Brest with a corner kick from the left that midfielder Blaise Matuidi steered in.

PSG had clinched the league title the previous weekend after winning 1-0 away to Lyon, making Beckham the first English player to win the championship in four countries after title success with Manchester United, Real Madrid and the Los Angeles Galaxy. He then announced he'd retire at the end of the season.

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi remains hopeful Beckham will play a part in PSG's future, possibly in an ambassadorial role.

Beckham leaves PSG without scoring a goal, but showed he is still capable of pinpoint passing and crossing -- and also stood out for his competitive streak.

He was booked in the second leg of the Champions League quarterfinal against Barcelona, and against Evian on April 28 he was red-carded shortly after coming on as he went into a tackle with a dangerously raised foot. There was no contact, but the challenge was reckless.

Beckham was often praised by coach Carlo Ancelotti for the example he set for other players, notably with his attitude in practice.