DAVID BECKHAM has revealed he was embarrassed into retiring by Lionel Messi.
The Manchester United and England legend, now 48, brought down the curtain to his illustrious career with a stint at 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, thanks to a certain Mr Messi.
Beckham once revealed: "I probably decided to retire when Messi was running past me."
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 a 3-3 stalemate.
Beckham claimed: "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 "Golden Balls" opted to quit the club in 2007 and blaze a trail by joining MLS side LA Galaxy.
BECK AND CALL
Becks spent five seasons in Los Angeles, 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.
In recent years, Beckham launched his very own MLS franchise, Inter Miami – and now they have added Messi to their squad.
The Argentine World Cup winner, 35, quit PSG for Florida, after his contract ran out.
Messi himself told Diario Sport and Mundo Deportivo: "I've taken the decision that I am going to Miami. [I decided] to leave Europe."
He added: "It's true that I had offers from another European team but I didn't even think about it because in Europe, my idea was only to go to Barcelona.
"After winning the World Cup and not being able to go to Barca, it's time to go to MLS to live football in a different way and enjoy my day to day life more.
"Obviously with the same responsibility and desire to win, and to do things well, but with more calm."
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After a rain-soaked unveiling that was delayed following lightning strikes, Messi was ready for action.
He made his debut in Miami's Leagues Cup match against Cruz Azul on July 21, scoring an injury-time winner with a sublime free-kick.
The moment reduced an emotional Beckham to tears as his club recorded a famous victory.
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