David Beckham's career is one of the most fascinating in the history of sports. He became so obscenely famous that people expected him to be the greatest player ever when he took the field; he wasn't. Given his position as a wide midfielder more interested in providing service than scoring goals on his own, his game lacked the sizzle that many of the game's legends possessed.

He didn't take guys one-on-one like Pelé, Diego Maradona or Zinedine Zidane; that simply wasn't in his football DNA. What he did do was outwork everyone on the field, prove time and again to be an excellent leader, and served up some of the most precise, deadly balls on spot kicks that the game has ever seen.

While his off-the-field fame has always been inextricably linked with his on-field exploits, one has nothing to do with the other and ultimately detracts from his legacy. Given his incredible longevity and success, Beckham should be remembered as one of the finest players ever to don a Manchester United and England jersey.