David Beckham's fame transcends soccer. He's an international superstar that could be measured against the likes of Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Muhammad Ali and Tiger Woods. While no doubt one of the game's greats, the Beckham Empire extends far beyond the soccer field. A modelling career, a pop star wife and almost daily paparazzi headlines are all part of the Beckham mystique. But when it comes to David Beckham soccer cards, collectors don't have a ton of options. This is especially true when it comes to the high-end cards that are so popular in today's hobby.
David Beckham rose to international fame as the star of Manchester United, the biggest sports team in the world. He debuted with the team in 1992 at the age of 17. He helped MU win six Premier League titles, a pair of FA Cups and a Champions League title. Between 2003 and 2007, Beckham played for Read Madrid in Spain, helping lead the team to one La Liga championship.
Beckham-mania came to North America in January, 2007 when he signed a five-year deal with the Los Angeles Galaxy of the MLS. The team won back-to-back MLS Cups in 2011 and 2012. While with the Galaxy, Beckham had a pair of stints with AC Milan as well. Beckham's professional career wrapped up with a year playing for Paris Saint-Germain.
As an international superstar, David Beckham soccer cards have been released all over the world. That makes compiling a definitive list difficult. That said, here are five awesome David Beckham cards. Some are significant while a couple of them simply look cool.
5 Must-Have David Beckham Cards
Credited as the first David Beckham card, 1995 Raven Manchester United Red Devils is a 14-card team set. While not numbered, card backs state a print run of 500 copies. Although prices can vary, it's often available for $20 or less.
The 1996 Merlin Premier Gold David Beckham is his most popular base card. Seen as his first pack-inserted card, it comes complete with a shot of the midfielder. The card back includes a short bio and several stats. Outside of autographs, this is one of the most valuable David Beckham cards.
Even before coming to America, Upper Deck had a strong history with David Beckham. They started making Manchester United cards in 2001, including a handful of Beckham autographs. However, the 2007 Upper Deck MLS David Beckham is his first as a member of the Galaxy.
This memorabilia card pairs two of the biggest stars in MLS history. They also happen to be teammates. It as a pair of jersey swatches and comes numbered to 99. A patch version comes numbered to 25.
Part of Upper Deck's multi-sport set, it uses a layered design to create a phenomenal 3-D look. Although not numbered, the card is nonetheless rare. Shadow Box cards combined to fall just one per 2011 Upper Deck World of Sports case. A large checklist and a somewhat lackluster response by collectors mean that they don't pop up all that often.
It'd be silly not to highlight any David Beckham autographs. They're easily the most valuable David Beckham cards. Part of that is that they're so hard to find. They're so rare that any individual card is hard to include on our list. When David Beckham autograph cards do surface, they usually sell for several hundred dollars. The best places to find them is in 2001 and 2002 Upper Deck Manchester United. Both sets have several different David Beckham autographs.