LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena coached David Beckham from August of 2008 to the end of the 2012 seasons and developed plenty of wonderful memories as the pair helped lead the Galaxy back to prominence.
In an interview with Sky Sports, Arena discusses Beckham's retirement, his role in the growth of the Galaxy and MLS as well as his potential future as an owner in the league.
Arena's comments are below...
(On David Beckham’s retirement…)
ARENA: “I really don’t think that it’s a sad day; I think that it is a great day because we will now be able to celebrate such a fabulous career. David is such a great player, a great personality, a great friend, a great family man. We in the United States, in Major League Soccer and specifically the LA Galaxy were honored to have David here for seven years. He’s a person that we can’t replace on the field or off, he really has meant a lot to the professional game in the United States as he has for the game in so many countries. He had such a fabulous presence and we are so thrilled that he can finally have his day in the sun and we can all celebrate a terrific career.”
(On Beckham’s integration to MLS in 2007….)
ARENA: “Just to let you know, I didn’t work for the Galaxy until 2008, David had already been with the Galaxy for about a year and a half. At the time, obviously, everyone said what a great person that he was, a good teammate, however, very frustrated because the LA Galaxy experienced very little success on the field. David is such a great competitor and he was questioning his move to the United States and we were fortunately able to turn it around, and all I’ll say is that it is a tribute to David’s presence on and off the field. My four years working with him is one of the great honors of my life. I found him to be a player with incredible skills on the field as we all know, one of the greatest passers that the game has ever seen. Just a great personality and incredible competitor, who did wonderful things for our club and our game.”
(On Beckham’s influence on soccer in the U.S)
ARENA: “In our market, he brought a lot of attention to our club, but as we traveled across the United States and the world, there was always sold out stadiums. We all know that he’s a global icon and a real terrific ambassador for the game. It was a wonderful experience for all of us.”
(On whether Arena can see David Beckham becoming an owner in MLS…)
ARENA: “I certainly can. Our league would be foolish not to have David Beckham back in it. I know that he’s going to be back in Los Angeles this summer, I look forward to seeing him and his family again and I look forward to him playing a permanent role in the growth of Major League Soccer. Hopefully that’s going to happen.”