LONDON – David Beckham, who just signed a five-year, $250 million deal to play for L.A. Galaxy, has had a love-hate relationship with the press ever since he proved he was a force to be reckoned with on Manchester United's team, which he joined at 1992 at the age of 17.
He slowly rose to fame as he proved his skills on the field, and by 1996 became a household name in the United Kingdom after scoring a much-needed goal from the half-way line against Wimbledon.
He stayed with United until 2003, becoming national caption in 2000 and playing in eight World Cup Finals matches. He was named FIFA's player of the year in 2001.
Beckham's fame extended past the soccer field when he started dating Victoria Adams, aka Posh Spice, from the 1990's pop group Spice Girls, a relationship that earned him the nickname "Mr. Spice" and fueled taunting from opposing fans.
They married in 1999, in what BBC called London's "wedding of the year," with four-month-old son Brooklyn serving as the ring bearer to their castle wedding ceremony in Ireland. Leaked pictures of the ceremony showed the Beckhams sitting on gold thrones.
They soon became darlings London, and the antics of "Posh and Becks" were well-documented in the tabloids. Victoria had a second child, Romeo, in 2003 and a third, Cruz, in 2005.
Beckham left United in 2003 after stepping down as national team captain and signed with Madrid Real, but has found that experience frustrating since Italian coach Fabio Capello has limited his playing time.
Beckham started a football academy in L.A. for children last year and BBC Sport's Charlie Henderson speculates the Beckhams are interested in more than just soccer in their move to Hollywood:
"But his move to the footballing backwater of the U.S. leaves one asking what the future holds for Beckham. Perhaps his move to L.A. is the start of the next phase for brand Beckham — and a career in the movies?"
Posh, whose new found friendship with Katie Holmes of "TomKat" has been well documented in gossip magazines, has denied reports that she will star in a movie about Scientology by Tom Cruise.
Beckham and his wife are worth $169 million, according to Britain's Rich List.