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Becks takes time out for a chat!
Around the Academy:

David Beckham applauds the England fans
You need plenty of bottle to reach the top

He's the most famous footballer on the planet, captain of his country and a star at Real Madrid.

But how did David Beckham go from a skinny youngster playing in an Essex park to a global superstar?

CBBC's Reggie caught up with Becks in sunny Spain to find out.

"Ever since I can remember, I've always wanted to be a footballer," David explained to Reggie.

"I was about two or three when my dad first plonked a football in front of me - and the first thing I did was kick it."

Encouraged by his dad, Becks first began playing at Chase Lane Park in Essex.

It was there his talent was spotted by scouts for Ridgeway Rovers - David's first club.

David Beckham celebrates a goal with Luis Figo
David is making waves in Madrid

"We formed an amazing team," Becks recalls.

Rovers were certainly a force to be reckoned with in junior footy, at one point winning 78 games on the trot!

But coach Stuart Underwood remembers one player standing out from the talented Ridgeway youngsters.

"He was a football nutcase. His life was football. He wanted to be a pro aged seven," says Underwood.

Becks' dreams came true aged 16 when he was asked for a trial at Old Trafford.

The rest, as they say, is history.

But what tips does the England captain have for the millions of kids who want to follow in his footsteps?

"Dedication is important - instead of being with friends and going out I would rather stay in and watch Match of the Day!

"But at the age of eight or nine the most important thing is just to enjoy yourself," David says.


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FOOTBALL ::
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Becks' facts
Full name: David Robert Joseph Bekham
Date of Birth: 2 May 1975
Place of Birth: Leytonstone
Position: Midfield
Country: England:
Club: Real Madrid
Squad number: 23

Did you know?
When he was 12, Becks won a Bobby Charlton Soccer Skills award which was presented to him at Old Trafford
He started training with Manchester United when he was 14 years old
He made his league debut while he was on loan at Preston North End


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