LOS ANGELES – Beckham wants a final challenge in his lucrative soccer career and has confirmed he’s possibly headed for down under.
NDJ World | Published: Nov 20 2012 Sports
The 37-year-old midfielder said on Monday that the Major League Soccer (MLS) final against Houston Dynamo on December 1 will be his last game for the Galaxy.
The former England captain said he hopes to move on and become a part-owner of an MLS team in the future.
“I’ve had an incredibly special time playing for the LA Galaxy. However, I wanted to experience one last challenge before the end of my playing career,” Beckham said in a statement released by the team.
“I don’t see this as the end of my relationship with the league as my ambition is to be part of the ownership structure in the future.”
In his six seasons with the Galaxy since signing in January 2007, Beckham has appeared in 98 championship games and his stint coincided with a period of unrivalled growth for both the club and the MLS.
His ability to further boost the profile of the A-League on the back of the success of off-season signings Alessandro Del Piero and Emile Heskey will be appealing to new FFA boss David Gallop.
Seven MLS expansion teams have debuted since 2007 while 15 of the league’s 19 teams now play in soccer-specific stadiums – an increase of five before 2007.
Attendance at those stadiums are at unprecedented highs with an average of 18,807 fans attending games during the 2012 MLS regular season.
Exposure and recognition of the Galaxy and MLS are at all-time highs with Galaxy reaching a 10-year broadcast deal which is the most lucrative in MLS history.
The announcement opens the way for Beckham to potentially play in round 10 of the A-League the following weekend and be available for the remaining 18 regular-season games.
And Australian teams want him. Five A-league clubs, including Western Sydney Wanderers and Central Coast Mariners are reportedly keen to sign Beckham and have begun their bid to lure the superstar.
David Beckham became the highest paid player in the MLS league’s history, when he signed a contract with the Galaxy in 2007 that would pay him US$6.5m per year over the next three years.
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