Beckham signs for team Remain ahead of EU vote

David Beckham backed Britain to remain in the European Union on June 21, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - England football great David Beckham on Tuesday (June 21) backed Britain to remain in the European Union, hailing the positive influence of European players on British football.

"For our children and their children, we should be facing the problems of the world together and not alone," said the former Manchester United star.

"We live in a vibrant and connected world where together as a people we are strong. For these reasons I am voting to Remain," he said in a statement on Facebook, two days before the crucial vote.

Beckham, 41, highlighted the European influence on his star-studded career, during which he won 19 major trophies and spent four years at Real Madrid.

"I grew up with a core group of young British players that included Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and the Neville Brothers," he said in a statement.

"That team might have gone on to win trophies but we were a better and more successful team because of a Danish goalkeeper, Peter Schmeichel, the leadership of an Irishman Roy Keane and the skill of a Frenchman in Eric Cantona."

Beckham also played in Milan and Paris during his 20-year career.

"Those great European cities and their passionate fans welcomed me and my family and gave us the opportunity to enjoy their unique and inspiring cultures and people," said the former midfielder.

In a divisive and ill-tempered campaign, Beckham stressed that "each side has the right to their opinion and that should always be respected".

"Whatever the result of Thursday's referendum, we will always be Great," he added.

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