No one mastered the art of crossing and curving the ball as beautifully as Beckham. David Beckham has scored some of the most beautiful free kicks even seen by the world. And he is known to be a deadly assassin in free-kick situations.
For the last 5 years, David Beckham has been playing his heart out for Los Angeles Galaxy and his contract at LA will be expiring soon. When news first break out that David Beckham has signed up for LA Galaxy, there will tremendous build-up of hype that was buzzing in both the media and the public.
Let us take a closer look at some of the “Beckham effect” on Major League Soccer (MLS).
• Galaxy’s road games have contributed to the some of the highest average attendance in stadiums, ever recorded in MLS history
• Galaxy’s sales kit have increased tremendously, all their merchandise and replica shirts linked to him have been flying off the shelves
• The popularity of soccer has grown in America, with growing numbers of casual fans coming to watch the in stadiums and on TV
This is my two cents’ worth of the extent of David Beckham’s influence and whether it is good for soccer in America, LA Galaxy and Beckham himself.
For Soccer in America:
The number of people who liked official fan page of David Beckham is over 14 million on Facebook and the number is still increasing daily. This goes to show that as a public figure, David Beckham enjoys a huge following. Ever since the arrival of Beckham, the MLS has benefited greatly from his presence alone. His popularity on and off the field has brought thousands of fans to come and watch the games of MLS.
Critics have been slamming on the idea of bringing international football stars to MLS as when they make the transition from the European league to the MLS, they are already “over the hill” and very close to retiring. However, Beckham’s case has bucked the trend and proven many critics wrong.
When Beckham moved to MLS, he is still in Veganism his prime and he has been maintaining his match fitness to keep up with the competitive pace of the game. With Beckham in the team, LA Galaxy is gunning to be the MLS champion for the year 2011. This is great for the MLS as Beckham in the finals will draw more television audience and tickets to the game will be sold out. Diehard and casual fans will be curious to see if Beckham will be able to lift the trophy with LA Galaxy for his “last year” in MLS, should he decide to leave.
For LA Galaxy:
LA Galaxy has undoubtedly benefited from the inclusion of David Beckham into their team. They have certainly benefited from the great sales volume of the replica shirts bearing the name of David Beckham. About 61,000 fans filled up the stadium of LA to watch David Beckham in action. Sales of season ticket has been increasing as well. There is no doubt that LA Galaxy will be affected should David Beckham decide to move on from MLS.
LA Galaxy has not won the MLS cup since Beckham arrived and played for them. Come this 20 Nov, Beckham and LA Galaxy will fight for the right to be crowned champions of the MLS.
For Beckham Himself:
David Beckham has pocketed over 250 million dollars from his 5-year contract at LA Galaxy. That is quite attractive for a player of David Beckham’s stature. His wife, Victoria Beckham, is not complaining about his move to America and she has been lapping on the glamor of Hollywood fame. In America, both David and Victoria are viewed as the “golden couple” in Hollywood. Their children will also stand to benefit from world-class education in some of the top private schools in America. Overall, there are more pros than cons for the Beckham family.
Furthermore, when Beckham was still at Real Madrid, he was not playing as regularly as he should to be included into the England national squad. Over at LA Galaxy, Beckham is often selected to be the first eleven and he is crucial part of the team setup. Without Beckham, LA Galaxy appeared to be a different team without the extra edge and dimension provided by Beckham to their game.
However, should David Beckham decide to move on, he has some options to play in better football teams like PSG in France and Tottenham Hotspurs in England. Moving back to the European league will further bolster his chances of playing for England in their Euro 2012 campaign.
So, should David Beckham leave or not? That will be up to you to decide. It is great for the MLS. And it is even good for Beckham to a certain extent. Beckham may have aged, but he still has much to offer to LA Galaxy both on and off the field. Personally, I will prefer Beckham to stay at LA Galaxy and retire as a superstar player with a great playing record.