CARSON, Calif. – David Beckham addressed around 125 members of the media on Thursday ahead of Saturday’s MLS Cup 2012, his final match for the LA Galaxy and in Major League Soccer.
“It’s been a quiet week as you can imagine,” Beckham joked when asked about the club’s preparations. “It’s exciting. When we reached MLS Cup Final, there’s an excitement around the team and around the club, so this week has been about preparing for Houston, preparing for the game on Saturday. So it’s been an enjoyable week.”
When asked to reflect upon his six years with the Galaxy as well as the potentially turbulent times, the 37-year-old midfielder admitted that head coach Bruce Arena was vital in bringing stability to his time to the Galaxy.
“The first year, year and a half was kind of very unsettling and it wasn’t a great place to be and then Bruce came in, settled everything down and that’s the reason we’ve had the success that we had in the last four years,” said Beckham. “He’s a great man manager, the way he looks after players, the way he looks after the team, the way he treats the players. He’s strong and harsh when he needs to be, but he also puts his arm around you and has a joke with you when you need that and I think that’s important with management. I owe a lot to Bruce and his staff because the work that they’ve done has been incredible and it’s been an honor working with him for the last four years.”
The Galaxy midfielder also addressed a series of questions on his post-Galaxy future, but Beckham echoed his comments from a week earlier stating that he has many “interesting and exciting opportunities” on the table. Beckham was quick to shoot down a rumor that arose through the BBC linking him with French club AS Monaco. However, he did admit that the reported interest from many distinguished coaches was flattering.
“I heard the Monaco thing on the way to training this morning from a friend in London who said ‘I hear you’re going to Monaco,’” said Beckham. “So that was the first I’ve heard of that. Like I said, I’ve very flattered by some of the interest that I’ve had, and some serious interest that I’ve had.
“It’s always nice to be recognized by managers and good managers and the fact that I’ve still got managers like [Paris Saint-Germain] Carlo Ancelotti and [Queens Park Rangers manager] Harry Redknapp and [West Ham United manager] Sam Allardyce, managers like this are coming out saying they’d love me to play and they know how professional I am that means a lot to me,” added Beckham. “That’s what I’ve tried to base my career around, my whole career around over the years, being a professional and working hard and it’s nice to be recognized like that.”
Beckham did bat away one pesky rumor that has been linking him to the bid for a second team in New York and the New York Cosmos organization.
“I’ve been hearing the Cosmos thing for the last two or three years and no, that’s not true,” said Beckham. “My manager has definitely not had a conversation on that side so that’s definitely not true.”
A possible ownership move for Beckham has been at the forefront as of late and the midfielder reiterated that interest on Tuesday.
“Obviously now I’m finishing playing over the weekend, the ownership part comes into play and it’s something that I’m excited about,” said Beckham. “It’s something that again I think proves my commitment to the league and to whatever club I become part-owner or owner of. I’m excited about that. I’ll always be committed to the Galaxy in some way because I’ve been here six years and it’s like Manchester United, like Real Madrid it becomes a home for me.”
Although his time in MLS is nearing the end, Beckham has a few words for any players that are interested in coming to the Galaxy or MLS.
“My pitch is simple: if you want to be a part of something that is going to be big. Because when Tim Leiweke came to me six years ago in my house, that’s exactly what he said to me,” said Beckham. “He said ‘soccer’s not one of the biggest sports in the U.S., but one day it will be.’ And I believed him. It’s something that when I first came over here I committed to this league, I committed to this team and I committed to growing this league.
“Just because I’m not playing here anymore after the weekend, my commitment stays the same. And I will do anything to keep these players coming over like Robbie Keane, like Thierry Henry, and anything I can do on that side of things I want to do. Because I want to see this league continue to grow. I think and I know it’s the number one sport in the World, there’s other great sports here of course, but I believe that it can compete with basketball, I believe it can compete with American football and baseball. So that’s why I’m totally committed to that.”