David Beckham will leave Real Madrid at the end of the season and join side Los Angeles Galaxy on a £128m five-year deal – which works out at a mere half-a-million pounds a week. The former England captain will leave Real in June and begin his new career in MLS in August.
The “mere half-a-million pounds a week” refers to the fact that his current contract with the Spanish side pays him much, much more than that. [Edit: Whoops, I think perhaps the Soccernet folks were being sarcastic and silly, as usual, and I fell for the “mere.” This new contract for Becks is actually quite lucrative even compared to other big-name soccer deals, though the Galaxy will retain his image rights.]
While I’ve been critical of the MLS in the past, overall this deal is great for soccer in the US.
It’ll raise the profile of the league globally, and I think other high-quality players — Dutch midfielder Edgar Davids is one early candidate — will eventually cross the pond, as well. Crucially, Becks is arriving in LA with several years left before he’s a has-been; too often, ex-world class players come to America in their twilight years simply to collect a decent wage and have an easy go of it until they retire. That’s not quite the case with Beckham. His days of playing for the England national side may be over, but he’s expressed an interest in building up a good team in Cali.
But perhaps most important is this: What effect will Mr. Spice’s move to the US have on the David Beckham Chia Pet Bobble Head Doll industry that has sprung up — sorry — in Asia?
(Thanks to reader Katie C for sending along this link.)