David Beckham bids MLS farewell with another title
LOS ANGELES- Agence France-Presse
David Beckham and his sons (L-R) Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz celebrate after the Los Angeles Galaxy’s 2012 MLS Cup victory over the Houston Dynamo. ABACAPRESS photoDavid Beckham wrapped up a six-year stint by playing his final game in the MLS on Dec. 1, capping his time with the Los Angeles Galaxy with back-to-back titles.
The former England captain Beckham went out with bang, not only leading the Galaxy to a 3-1 win over Houston and their fourth MLS Cup crown, but his presence has helped the league achieve unprecedented growth and newfound respect overseas.
Beckham is now set to begin a new chapter with another club in a brilliant football career that has allowed him to also win titles in his final games with Manchester United and Real Madrid.
Beckham deflected questions about his next stop.
“I have no idea,” Beckham said. “More important I am happy wearing this uniform today. I am happy I been successful with this club.” At 37, Beckham’s career is coming to a close but he has been careful not to mention the word retirement.
Sources close to the player have confirmed an approach by Monaco. He has also been linked with a possible move to Ligue 1 high-flyers Paris Saint-Germain. There have also been offers from China, Russia and Brazil for the former United and Real ace.
Beckham celebrated in the Galaxy dressing room with his teammates, taking turns spraying each other with bottles of Korbell champagne. Both happy and relieved, Beckham paused at one point during the post-match press conference, after losing his train of thought then said, “Too much champagne already.”
“Winning a championship in my last game at Manchester United and winning a championship in my last game with Real Madrid and then winning championship here in my last game it never gets old,” Beckham said.
Even before the victory on Dec. 1, Beckham had made a huge impact on the league since he began playing for the Galaxy in 2007.
The league has expanded from 12 to 19 teams and it has more than doubled its overall attendance. Beckham hopes to get back into the league one day as an owner of an MLS team.
“My impact will be down to what other people decide. But I think I have had a successful time here. When I came here six years ago my commitment was to the Galaxy, to the league and to the sport and that doesn’t change even though I am not playing here,” he said.
Beckham has been capped 115 times for England, scoring 17 goals while captaining the side on more than 50 games. He helped grow the sport in the United States, but his time in California has not been without controversy.
He has faced criticism for missing games and has had run-ins with fans, especially when he first arrived. His loans to European teams, which caused him to miss parts of MLS seasons, angered some Los Angeles fans who displayed their dislike with signs at games that said “Go home fraud,” and “Part time player.”
Both teams in the 2012 MLS final have the same owner, The Anschutz Entertainment Group.
AEG’s deep pockets allowed the Galaxy to stack their roster with star players other teams couldn’t afford, like Beckham, Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane. Beckham and Keane each earn more in salary per season than Houston’s entire roster.
Beckham said the league is maturing and that the future is going to be a bright one.
“I hope I brought a bit of interest to the game,” he said. “If that is the single thing I have done then great. The foundations are there. It is a 17-year-old league and it will continue to grow.”