David Beckham will be the recipient of this year’s UEFA President’s Award. UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said that the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star was “a true football icon of his generation”.
Ceferin said, “The President’s Award recognises outstanding achievements, professional excellence and exemplary personal qualities. I have chosen David Beckham as the recipient of this year’s award because he has been a global ambassador for football, promoting the game and all its values in every corner of the planet. His tireless humanitarian efforts, which have helped the lives of many children around the world, should also be celebrated. Beckham is a true football icon of his generation.”
Beckham said, “During my career I always gave 100 per cent and tried to uphold the values of teamwork and fair play and I am proud to join the illustrious list of players who have previously won this award. Many of the unforgettable moments I had on the pitch came in the UEFA Champions League such as that magic night in Barcelona in 1999 when we beat Bayern Munich in such dramatic fashion.
My career in football allowed me to actively participate in helping to improve the lives of numerous children across the globe in cooperation with UNICEF and it gives me great pleasure that I am able to give something back to society.
When people believe in you, you believe in yourself. By giving children, especially girls, the support they need, my 7 Fund is helping them realise their potential.”
David Beckham will be only the third English footballer to receive this honour. The other two are the late Sir Bobby Robson (2002) and Sir Bobby Charlton (2008). Other eminent recipients of this award include Franz Beckenbauer, Johan Cruyff, Josef Masopust, Eusebio, Alfredo di Stefano and Paolo Maldini.
Aged 42, Beckham is also one of the youngest recipients of this award. Only Paolo Maldini and Francesco Totti have received the award at a younger age.