World Cup 2014: David Beckham faces battle for stadium plan but backs England to shine

Beckham believes the England squad will perform in Brazil despite lack of experience as he turns attentions to his own matters in Miami

David Beckham has appealed for support for his plans for a Major League Soccer stadium in Miami, insisting that he does not want public money and will create “something special” for the city.

Beckham, who watched England’s game against Honduras in the city on Saturday night, is currently negotiating for a waterfront site next to the Miami Heat’s American Airlines Arena in downtown Miami after plans for a venue near the port met local political resistance.

The second proposal, which involves filling in a large boat slip and placing the stadium in a new park area, has also come up against some opposition despite Beckham’s team offering to pay for the arena entirely out of private funds.

That plan could go to a vote in a referendum in November and on Saturday Beckham fired up his campaign for support – visiting a downtown children’s soccer centre, as well as the heavily Hispanic Little Havana district.

 

“At the end of the day, it can go one way or another, Beckham said. “If we get the public support it can be incredible but if we don’t we will find a way to turn them around and make them realise that this is a great thing and we are not here to take their money,” he said.

While sports teams in the United States regularly get public funding for stadiums there is widespread opposition to that idea in Miami after $500m was spent on a baseball stadium for the poorly supported Miami Marlins team.

The former England captain is also convinced his compatriots are in the right shape to make an impact at the World Cup. “It’s a young team, it’s fresh. They’re all in great form, they’ve all had good seasons for their clubs.

“People have said, ‘Are they worried about young kids going into a massive tournament?’. There’s no reason to be worried because they’re all playing in the best league in the world, the toughest league in the world, and they’re playing top quality players week in, week out.”

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