Soccer star David Beckham, 37, has announced he will not return to Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy after this season. His final game with the team will be the MLS Cup, the game that decides the league champion, which is to be played on Dec. 1, against the Houston Dynamo.

Signed in 2007, after having spent the previous four seasons with European powerhouse Real Madrid, Beckham instantly became the most recognizable face in MLS history and helped to generate interest in the league. Since his arrival, the league has welcomed seven new teams, higher attendance and exclusive, lucrative television contracts with ESPN, NBC Sports and Univision.

"I've had an incredibly special time playing for the LA Galaxy, however, I wanted to experience one last challenge before the end of my playing career," Beckham said in a press release. "I don't see this as the end of my relationship with the league as my ambition is to be part of the ownership structure in the future."

One of the most celebrated soccer players in the world, Beckham first burst onto the scene in 1993 with English juggernaut Manchester United. Six years later in 1999, he would finish as runner-up for FIFA World Player of the Year, after helping Manchester United win the Premier League Championship, the FA Cup and the Champions League.

Beckham is also famous for his personal life. His wife, Victoria Beckham, was formerly known as Posh Spice from the hit British group, the Spice Girls. They began dating in 1997, marrying two years later. The couple has four children: Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper.

A blog report on The Guardian’s website speculates that Beckham may try to finish up his playing career in the Australian A-League, but there has been no word yet on any confirmed plans.

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