The tears flowed – but so, too, did the adoration.
In the end, David Beckham‘s final game as a professional soccer player wrapped up as if it were scripted on Saturday, with the former England captain lifting a trophy to roars from a crowd in Paris.
The 38-year-old, who announced his retirement last week, broke down in tears as he was substituted in the final moments of Paris Saint-Germain‘s 3-1 win over Brest. But he was soon laughing again as the crowd chanted his name and he was thrown into the air by his teammates.
He also grinned broadly as he lifted France’s Ligue 1 trophy, making him a champion in four different leagues over the past 20 years.
Beckham’s wife Victoria and their children Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper were all on hand to witness the final chapter of a storied career, in which he also set a record for outfield appearances by an England player.
“I feel a lot of satisfaction and emotion,” said the Londoner, who also won titles with Manchester United, Real Madrid and the Los Angeles Galaxy. “Tonight is the end of my career, for sure.”