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Beckham plays final home match to tears and cheers

By Paul Gittings, CNN
updated 6:38 AM EDT, Mon May 20, 2013
The emotion shows as David Beckham walks off the field after his late substitution at the Parc des Princes. The emotion shows as David Beckham walks off the field after his late substitution at the Parc des Princes.
HIDE CAPTION
Tearful farewell
High flyer
Family connection
Fan favorite
Commemorative boots
Memorable moments
Fellow superstars
Goal hero
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • David Beckham plays final home match
  • Made captain for the night as PSG beat Brest 3-1
  • Makes tearful farewell when substituted after 82 minutes
  • PSG had already wrapped up the French title

(CNN) -- With tears streaming down his face, David Beckham said farewell in his final home game as a professional footballer Saturday.

Made captain for the night by Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti, he played his full part in a 3-1 win for the new French champions over Brest.

But on 82 minutes, with the realization that his glittering 847-game career was winding down, the raw emotion of the moment got the better of the most iconic player of his generation.

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Given a standing ovation by the near 45,000 strong capacity crowd in the Parc des Princes, Beckham hugged teammates and opponents before being substituted by Ezequiel Lavezzi.

Family and friends, including his pop star wife Victoria, were in the stands to watch him as was former French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

He had even donned a special pair of commemorative boots for the occasion -- bearing the date May 18 and the names of his children, Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper.

Beckham was going out on a high and although PSG have an away match at Lorient to complete a triumphant season his appearance in that match is considered highly unlikely..

Read: Beckham persona helped publicize football in the United States

It was his 10th league championship title -- won with four clubs -- Manchester United, Real Madrid, Los Angeles Galaxy and now PSG, the players lifting the trophy after their final home match.

The former England captain joined them for the run-in to the season and quickly won over the fans as she showed that despite his 38 years he had lost none of his trademark skills.

It was on display again in his farewell home appearance, with raking cross-field balls regularly finding the target and he made the assist on PSG's second goal.

PSG made a flying start with star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic putting them ahead in the fifth minute.

Beckham's corner proved perfect for Blaise Matuidi to score the second with Ibrahimovic blasting the third before halftime with a thunderous free kick.

Charlison Benschop pulled a late goal back for already relegated Brest, but it could not spoil the celebrations -- which went on long after the final whistle as the entire PSG squad, Beckham included, were paraded ahead of the trophy celebration.

Ancelotti, who has led PSG to their first title in 19 years, said he wanted to make Beckham's farewell special.

"It was the right thing to do to choose Beckham as captain for his last match.

"All the players backed the decision. Beckham will have a lovely memory of this night," he told AFP.

Beckham addressed fans after the match as the celebrations in the stadium continued long after the final whistle.

"Thanks to everyone in Paris, to all of my teammates, the staff and fans," said the former England captain.

"It's been very special to finish my career here," he added.

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