LOS ANGELES — For four years, David Beckham defended the colors of Real Madrid.
On Saturday, the former Merengue finally got the chance to line up against his former club.
Beckham donned the captain’s armband for his first match against Real Madrid, and while the result did not go his way – the LA Galaxy were overpowered by Real Madrid 4-1 – the night was special nevertheless.
Beckham made a stunning move to Real Madrid in 2003, leaving Manchester United for the Spanish giants. He left Madrid in 2007 after helping Real Madrid win the La Liga title. And while the club has had turnover since he’s left, he was still touched when the teams took the field.
“It was emotional tonight,” Beckham said. “It was the first time I played against them since I left and every time I see the star for the club, the players for the club I played with, it brings back great memories.”
Beckham donned the captain’s armband for the match against his former team and played 62 minutes before coming off the field. While the Galaxy did not score while he was on the field – their lone goal came five minutes after he was substituted for – Beckham had a chance to beat his old team with a 27-yard free kick in the first half.
However, former teammate Iker Casillas did not have the chance to make a save as Beckham’s attempt caromed off the wall.
While Beckham and the Galaxy struggled, Real Madrid were able to break through LA’s defense and scored twice on either side of the half, including a jaw-dropping goal by Cristiano Ronaldo early in the second half. Beckham wasn’t exactly surprised by the result though.
“At the end of the day, we always knew it was going to be a tall order trying to get a result against Real Madrid,” he said. “But we got a lot of young players out there, a lot of players who have not played against a Real Madrid team before.”
For players like Beckham, Landon Donovan and Juan Pablo Ángel, games against Real Madrid is not quite a unique chance. But for guys like Cristman, Paolo Cardozo and Brian Perk, the opportunity is exceptional.
“You know what, they can take a lot from it,” Beckham said. “They played against some of the best players in the world and one of the best teams in the world and a great historical stadium with a lot of people here.”
Aside from the lead-up to a game against his former club, the week has been emotional and unique for another reason: Beckham’s daughter Harper Seven was born on Sunday.
“I’m always up for every game but it has been an emotional week,” Beckham said. “I had a few days to spend with my family and with my daughter and I felt good today, felt ready to play. She’s sleeping great believe it or not. Our sons weren’t like that so it’s a whole new experience, a great new experience.”
Beckham paid homage to his seven-day-old during the match.
“I wore the pink and white boots tonight in the honor of my little girl. It’s just a one-off but that means a lot,” he said. “[She’s] an amazing addition to our family.”
The Galaxy face Manchester City in their second and final game of the Herbalife World Football Challenge on Sunday, July 24 at 1 p.m. at The Home Depot Center. Tickets are available for that match as low as $30. Visit lagalaxy.com/worldfootballchallenge for more information.