David Beckham’s Hardcover

By: Judy Cantor-Navas

Yes, David Beckham’s new photo book does feature shots of him modeling his H&M underwear line, and a retrospective of his hairstyles over the years. But while a book titled (what else?) David Beckham can’t help but chronicle the evolving hotness of GQ’s 2013 Most Stylish Man of the Year, its main focus is on the recently retired legendary midfielder’s 20-year career in football.

The book’s 288 pages include 150 photos, going back to early gems like a 1985 shot of Beckham’s childhood team, Ridgeway Rovers, coached by his father.

“Not sure about my dad’s mustache,” Beckham, who is now 38, quips in the caption.

With text written by the spotlight-bathing man-god himself, the book touches on the story of his glory days with Manchester United and the England national team; his stints with Real Madrid, LA Galaxy, AC Milan; and most recently, his short-term signing with Paris Saint-German. 

This “personal celebration of his playing days” leaves a deeper look at Beckham and his career than other books (including his two previously published autobiographies). But this homage to the player and fashionista—and, if rumors are true, soon to be knight—will make a great unisex gift this Christmas.

Judy Cantor-Navas is an award-winning journalist, critic and Latin music programmer who most frequently writes about music and its context. She is the Managing Editor of Billboard en Español and a correspondent for Billboard Magazine in Los Angeles.