|In 2007, David Beckham left Spain and Real Madrid for the LA Galaxy. It was a shocking development in world football. Did you know that Beckham would get a statue after playing with the LA Galaxy? Is this the first statue of a player for an MLS team? It’s really hard to figure out just how much the Beckham signing changed the MLS. Beckham brought attention of course, but I’d say he also brought a professionalism to the league.
Beckham showed up for every game and played at a high level. He won games and championships. He brought over more European stars to play in the league. Yeah, Beckham should have a statue for what he did for the LA Galaxy but the league itself.
Yes, Beckham got quite a deal for purchasing an MLS team, just $25 million, when they’re now going for ten times that. What a smart negotiating move on his part.
The most interesting thing about Beckham’s signing was what he said about coming over at age 31 versus 34. I hope that that is the case. He wants to play, win, and develop the league and not just have a cushy life while his wife pursues her career in Hollywood.
‘David Beckham will leave Real Madrid at the end of the season and join side Los Angeles Galaxy on a £128million ($250 million) five-year deal – which works out at a mere half-a-million pounds a week.’
Beckham brings with him not just all of his talent but his years of development under great coaches in great leagues, from Manchester United to Real Madrid, and that is going to rub off on US players.
I’ve heard that Eric Cantona had a huge impact on youth players coming up through the ranks at Manchester. No doubt he did. He was an incredible player but also played with such enthusiasm and desire that young players would want to emulate that.
Quotes from Beckham about the deal:
‘I don’t want to go out to America at 34 and people saying `he’s only there to get the money’. I want to hopefully build a club and team that have a lot of potential and that excites me.’
‘To play in the white shirt for four years was an honor. To play with Zinedine Zidane was the biggest honor I have had in my football career, and it was also an honor to play with players such as Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos.’
Watch Beckham Videos:
The Beckham Effect:
The winter months are the off-season for the MLS and are annually the low point in traffic to its official site; yet once the breaking news was released on January 12th, traffic to mlsnet.com increased by 200%. More striking was the jump in traffic to the Galaxy’s team page – 2000%.