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"Beckham an icon in every sence" by Julio Lopez
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Beckham an icon in every sence

He loves to shop looks good in a sarong and spends almost as much time at the hairdresser's as he does on the playing field.But for millions of English men and women soccer star David Beckham is the king of cool a golden-haired national treasure whose famously curling kicks have inspired boys and girls across the world "Bend It Like Beckham" as in the film about a sikh girl in Britain with soccer dreams.

Beckham is reputed to be the world's best-paid soccer player earning an estimated $17 million a year in salary and endorsement deals and that figure will increase dramatically now that he has been sold to Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid.His departure to the Spanish league has saddened British fans amd made headlines around the world. A favorite of fashion magazines Beckham once caused a sensation by appearing in a glossy spread with reddish-brown soy sauce dripping from his shaved head as if he were blendding.

There was a time however when the name was far from popular.Born in London's Leytonstone district near the East End, Beckham joined Man Utd at 16 and rose to fame as an outstanding scorer of the free kicks and penalties earning a spot in the national team for the 1998 World Cup in France.But what should have been the 23-year-old moment of glory tured into disaster.During a white-knuckle second-round match against England's arch-rival, Argentina,Beckham was expelled for a petalant kick against the opposing team's captain,so he missed the penalty kick shoot-out that sealed England's elimination.

Back in Britain outraged soccer fans burned and hanged effigies of Beckham who underwent a media lynching for his outburst.For months Beckham met with loud jeers when he entered a stadium.He slowly regained his popularity by leading Manchester United to a fantastic winning spree from 1999 to 2001 then sending England into the 2002 World Cup with a stunning free-kick goal against Greece in qualifying.He has been absent from British newspapers since.