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News & Comment

America finally succumbs to the power of Becks


When the former England captain David Beckham decided to move from a footballing giant in Real Madrid to an US team with a 35,000-seater stadium and fading on-field fortunes, many saw it as an example of a player who has won a Champions League medal as well as league titles in England and Spain putting a downpayment on a retirement home. And the initial stages of his career at MLS (Major League Soccer) side LA Galaxy did not seem to promise further sporting success. But, in what may be his final game in the country, Beckham has finally got his hands on some US silverware to add to his collection, winning his first MLS title.

Football in America (aka soccer) has arguably reaped even richer rewards from his five-year stay. While Beckham has significantly lengthened a career which has often been written off over the past five years, and earned a small fortune in doing so, a sport in America which seemed to stall on take-off now reportedly attracts more spectators per game than the professional hockey and basketball leagues.

It has also attracted a stream of players who have played pivotal roles on the world stage.

The former Tottenham Hotspur striker and current Republic of Ireland captain, Robbie Keane, who cost Liverpool £19m a little more than three years ago, has followed Beckham to Los Angeles.