Thursday, January 11, 2007

Soccer Saviour? Beckham Coming to America [Sky News]


David Beckham says he is leaving Real Madrid to sign for LA Galaxy.

The former England captain will leave the Spanish club at the end of the season and sign a five-year deal for the US side, believed to be worth £128m.

Beckham said: "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."

"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."

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

Daily Telegraph sports writer Chris Davies told Sky News: "The LA lifestyle would suit Posh but (for a player) it's an elephant's graveyard.

"If you go there you might as well sign off and claim your pension."

Real Madrid had earlier confirmed that a new two-year contract was still on the table despite confusion over remarks on Wednesday by sporting director Predrag Mijatovi which suggested Beckham would be leaving.

Beckham has consistently been linked with a move to the US.

But he insisted he was not going just for the money, but to make a difference in American sport.

He already has a football school in Los Angeles.

"Soccer is huge everywhere around the world, except in America," he said.

"That's where I want to make a difference with the kids."

The 31-year-old midfielder has been forced into a bit-part role this season and is desperate not to spend much of the remaining years of his playing career on the sidelines.