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Old 01-11-2007, 11:24 AM   #1
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Beckham Signs $250 Million Dollar Contract to come to L.A. Galaxy

MADRID, Spain -- Former England captain David Beckham will leave Real Madrid at the end of the season and sign a five-year deal for MLS side Los Angeles Galaxy, he told Reuters on Thursday.

"This week Real Madrid asked me to make a decision regarding my future and the offer to extend my contract for a further two seasons," Beckham said. "After discussing several options with my family and my advisors to either stay here in Madrid or join other major British and European teams I have decided to join LA Galaxy and play in the MLS from August this year."

Beckham, 31, who joined Real Madrid from Manchester United in June 2003, is the most famous player to sign up for Major League Soccer since it began in 1996.

He is also the biggest name player to move to club soccer in the U.S. since the likes of Pele, Franz Beckenbauer and Johan Cruyff played in the long-defunct North American Soccer League in the 1970s and early eighties.

His deal is reported to be one of the biggest in global sport with Beckham set to earn more than $250 million over the duration of his contract.

Beckham has soccer academies in London and Los Angeles. His wife Victoria, a former Spice Girl, was recently photographed househunting in Los Angeles.

"David Beckham will have a greater impact on soccer in America than any athlete has ever had on a sport globally," said Timothy J. Leiweke, president & CEO of Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns the Galaxy. "David is truly the only individual that can build the bridge between soccer in America and the rest of the world."

The news ends months of speculation about the future of the midfielder whose contract with Real Madrid expires at the end of the season.

A starter since he joined Real Madrid, Beckham lost his place following the arrival of Italian coach Fabio Capello. He has only started five of Real's 16 league games this season and was known to be frustrated with his lack of opportunities in the first team.

The former Manchester United player said he was now inspired by the challenge of cracking the American soccer market.

"I am proud to have played for two of the biggest clubs in football and I look forward to the new challenge of growing the world's most popular game in a country that is as passionate about its sport as my own."

But he insisted he would be giving his all for Real Madrid until the end of the season to try and win the major trophy that has eluded him since he joined the club in 2003.

"For the rest of this season I will continue to give 100 percent to my coach, team mates and fans and I believe Fabio Capello will bring this club and its supporters the success they truly deserve."

Beckham joined Real Madrid in 2003 after a hugely successful run with Manchester United, where he won six league titles, two FA Cups and the Champions League title. But Beckham did not win a single major trophy with the Spanish club, and his spell coincided with Madrid's worst slump since the early 1950s.

Real Madrid has had six different coaches and three club presidents during Beckham's stay, but the club has made a fortune -- in part because of the star's position as a cultural icon for soccer fans and non-fans alike, including men, women and children of different ethnic and racial groups.

His marketability was emphasized by the hit movie "Bend It Like Beckham," even as his skills deteriorated with age.

Beckham's contract included a clause in which half his image rights would go to Real Madrid. That helped earn the club millions, allowing the Spanish team to overtake Manchester United as the biggest earner in world soccer.

Beckham led England to the quarterfinals of the World Cup last summer, scoring from a free kick in the second round to beat Ecuador 1-0. But he was taken off the field early in the second half against Portugal with ankle and Achilles tendon injuries, and then watched as his team was eliminated in a penalty shootout.

A day after the game, Beckham stepped down as captain of the team -- a post he had held for 58 of his 94 international appearances. Then, on Aug. 11, England coach Steve McClaren dropped Beckham from the team altogether, signaling the end of his international career.
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Old 01-11-2007, 11:27 AM   #2
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$50 million per season... double what a-rod gets.

wow. wowwee wow wow.

i doubt it will have any real effect on soccer in america... buuuut, it got my attention, and i'd rather stick needles in my eyes than watch soccer, soooo we'll see.
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Old 01-11-2007, 11:28 AM   #3
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I think it's exciting. I'll be going to some games
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Old 01-11-2007, 11:29 AM   #4
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he should've stayed in europe, there's plenty of clubs in top leagues that would've signed him.

what a tame end to his career. he was my childhood sporting hero, i've always followed his career. this is beneath him.


and it's not like he needs the money.
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Old 01-11-2007, 11:31 AM   #5
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it's the ultimate challange for a soccer/football player... to be big in america.

pele had marginal success, but no one's really been able to have the effect that wayne gretzky had with hockey when he was traded to LA. should be interesting.

$50 million per year though... sheesh. that's gil meche money right there.
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Old 01-11-2007, 11:32 AM   #6
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Re: Beckham Signs $250 Million Dollar Contract to come to L.A. Galaxy

Quote:
Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase
His deal is reported to be one of the biggest in global sport with Beckham set to earn more than $250 million over the duration of his contract.
That's a lot of Big Macs!
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Old 01-11-2007, 11:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase
it's the ultimate challange for a soccer/football player... to be big in america.

pele had marginal success, but no one's really been able to have the effect that wayne gretzky had with hockey when he was traded to LA. should be interesting.

$50 million per year though... sheesh. that's gil meche money right there.
beckham is probably already the most well known (non american) soccer player in america.
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Old 01-11-2007, 11:36 AM   #8
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Wow.
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Old 01-11-2007, 11:37 AM   #9
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last year, if someone offered me free tickets to a metrostars game, i'd have turned them down. i'd rather stay home and sleep.

this year, if someone offers me free tickets to a metrostars/galaxy game, i'd consider it, just to see what the fuss is about this guy.

i still wouldn't pay for a ticket.
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Old 01-11-2007, 11:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase
it's the ultimate challange for a soccer/football player... to be big in america.

pele had marginal success, but no one's really been able to have the effect that wayne gretzky had with hockey when he was traded to LA. should be interesting.
Exactly.He's already had a great career. If he could help make soccer big here that would be an amazing accomplishment. Maybe that's what he's hoping for

I think eventually soccer will be big here with or without him.
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Old 01-11-2007, 11:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase
last year, if someone offered me free tickets to a metrostars game, i'd have turned them down. i'd rather stay home and sleep.

this year, if someone offers me free tickets to a metrostars/galaxy game, i'd consider it, just to see what the fuss is about this guy.

i still wouldn't pay for a ticket.
my bad... i meant "red bull new york"

great name
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Old 01-11-2007, 11:40 AM   #12
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Originally posted by the rockin edge


beckham is probably already the most well known (non american) soccer player in america.
Pele

I know it's probably different where you are but if you go to a pub in so.cal, they are filled during soccer matches. We aren't as out of it as it may seem
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Old 01-11-2007, 11:41 AM   #13
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there are a tons of pubs in new york that have soccer/football matches on as well... most of 'em are irish/english joints.
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Old 01-11-2007, 11:42 AM   #14
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well he'll make an impact alright, from what i've seen of the MLS he'll be able to score/setup a goal or 2 in every game easily. maybe just stay in the same place and pop balls into the net for the whole match.

1 thing's for sure, the US fans wont have seen someone with better free kick/corner delivery's in their league before.
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Old 01-11-2007, 11:44 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by redkat


Pele

I know it's probably different where you are but if you go to a pub in so.cal, they are filled during soccer matches. We aren't as out of it as it may seem
but all the people who know Pele, they know Beckham as well right?

around here Beckham is more known than Pele. but then people barely know what soccer is here, even during the world cup when i went out to watch the USA games there were only 3 or 4 other people out watching them at the sports bars i went to.
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