David Beckham: Good for U.S. Soccer? Yes.
The L.A. Galaxy finally has what every sport needs: a recognizable superstar.
Basketball had Michael Jordan, golf has Tiger Woods, football had John Elway, skateboarding has Tony Hawk and now the nation that loves sports has someone for soccer as well, David Beckham (a.k.a Golden Balls).
Sure, he hasn’t been the favorite as of late, being eliminated from England’s national team and constricted to limited action for Real Madrid. However we have to remember what he has done, and only hope that Golden Balls bestows the Midas touch on the L.A. Galaxy in the next five years.
Beckham is world famous. He possesses not only the talent, but also the charisma to draw millions of fans to the field. Beckham has been recognized by the BBC as ‘The Best Personality of 2001’ and by Time as one of ‘2004’s 100 Heroes and Icons.’ Not only is he charming, but he scores goals, a skill easily forgotten by rigid coaches and overlooked because of his iconic status and sexy brand image.
His direct free kicks and superior crossing ability are what have made him famous. Back in 2001, his free-kick strike against Greece sent England into the 2002 FIFA World Cup. More recently, in the FIFA World Cup 2006, Beckham scored an impressive game-winning free kick against Ecuador in the second round. With that goal, Beckham became the first-ever English player to score in three World Cups.
With Beckham’s arrival to the United States, soccer will likely rise to another level. As quoted by MSNBC, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber said, ‘David Beckham coming to MLS might be viewed by some as the most important moment for soccer in this country and, perhaps, the history of professional sports.’
Moving to America has been a long time coming for Beckham and his family. It’s no secret that he is buddy-buddy with Tom Cruise, naming his third kid after him; he also has a soccer academy outside of L.A. and vacations frequently in New York.
Granted, Beckham is probably not the best player in the world; that honorable title perhaps belongs to Ronaldinho. But Beckham is an international icon, a soccer celebrity of the highest order. Skeptics credit Beckham’s move to financial motivation, and who can really blame them?
He signed a 5-year contract for $250 million, which means $90 a second.
However, he deserves it. He isn’t just an athlete, he is a global sports idol, world-famous brand icon and a sex symbol. He is also the face of soccer and one of England’s best players ever.
With Beckham on their team starting June 30th, the L.A. Galaxy will single-handedly revolutionize the way the United States thinks about soccer.