Former Manchester United defender David May said his old team-mate David Beckham’s retirement decision came as a surprise.
Beckham, 38, called time on a career spanning 20 years – largely spent with May at United – on Thursday.
The Englishman said he wanted to finish on a high after helping secure the Ligue 1 title for Paris Saint-Germain, but May felt Beckham had more to give at the highest level.
“I am a little bit shocked to be fair. When I first heard it, I was surprised because he has done so well at PSG this year, I thought he would carry on,” May said.
Beckham’s individual brilliance was well canvassed by the mixture of domestic league he managed to conquer in his professional career.
“It is quite an achievement, he has managed to win six Premier Leagues, two FA Cups, a European Cup and he won the La Liga and has gone over France and managed to win that and also in America so for him to do that in a career spanning 700 games is a remarkable achievement,” May said.
May felt Beckham would become a fully fledged United supporter, now that he had time spare to get along to Old Trafford as the club ushers in the post-Alex Ferguson era.
“I think he is a United fan, you see a lot of the ex players coming back and obviously with his time in America and Paris he was limited when he could come here but now he can come back and bring the kids and enjoy Old Trafford as a fan not a player,” he said.
Beckham’s twilight years were spent in the United States with the Los Angeles Galaxy, and Major League Soccer vice-president Dan Courtemanche hailed the midfielder’s influence on the sport in North America.
“All of us at Major League soccer are fortunate to have spent six seasons with David Beckham.
“He was certainly a great leader on the field who won championships with the Galaxy but he also inspired millions of soccer fans throughout North America and the world with his contributions to the sport.
“We certainly thank him for his 20 seasons of playing and we hope to see him as an owner in Major League Soccer in the future as he does have an option to buy a team at some point.”