England and Manchester United legend David Beckhamhas revealed how he was embarrassed into retiring by Lionel Messi.
Beckham, 44, called time on his illustrious career with a stint at Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain in 2013.
And it was over two legs against Barcelona in the 2012-13 Champions League that Beckham realised it was time to hang up the boots, due to Messi.
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“I probably decided to retire when Messi was running past me,” he revealed.
But he’s now taken it a step further by telling Argentine reporters he enjoyed those games – despite being run ragged and PSG being knocked out on away goals after 3-3 on aggregate.
“We were ahead. [Messi] came on and Barcelona scored.
“Despite my age, I enjoyed playing and the team was good in both games. We did things to be proud of. We didn’t lose to them.”
Beckham enjoyed a trophy laden 15 years during stints at Man Utd and Real Madrid – tasked with taking on a young Messi a numbers of times during his spell at the Bernabeu.
But he decided to quit Madrid in 2007 and head to Major League Soccer to Los Angeles Galaxy.
Becks spent five seasons at LA Galaxy, with two spells on loan at AC Milan during the American off-season.
After quitting LA Galaxy, Beckham enjoyed one last hurrah at PSG – where he played 12 times in the second-half of the season.
More-recently, Beckham has launched his very own MLS franchise, Inter Miami – and even has aspirations of signing Messi one day.
The Argentine superstar, 32, is able to leave on a free at the end of the current season and Beckham is keen to land him.
He said: “Well you know what, we’ve got great opportunities down in Miami.
“We’ve been contacted by a lot of different players over possibly coming to join the team.
“As with any owner, you really want the best players and if we have the opportunity to bring in players like Cristiano or Leo…
“I have such admiration for them as athletes, if we could bring those players in then great.”
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