Tuesday, November 20, 2012
UNCERTAINTY ON DAVID BECKHAM'S NEXT MOVE AFTER HE REVEALED HE'S QUITTING LA GALAXY
Former Manchester United and Real Madrid star midfielder David Beckham is to leave the Los Angeles Galaxy after next month's MLS Cup, amid rumours of him moving to Australia getting momentum.
The 37-year-old is in line to end his six-year Galaxy stay in style as they defend their title against the Houston Dynamo on December 1 before seeking to extend his playing career elsewhere.
Although Beckham had an option on his contract, signed in January, for another year with the Galaxy, his decision to leave is no great surprise.
Football Federation Australia last week claimed they had been approached by the former Real Madrid and Manchester United star's camp with a view to the player spending a short stint in the A-League, though his spokesman described that as 'rubbish'.
Perth Glory - one of the clubs to express an interest when the links with Beckham going Down Under first emerged - were quick to go public again this morning, tweeting: 'David Beckham has confirmed the MLS Cup final will be his last game for the Galaxy. The race is on.'
Melbourne Heart have also confirmed they will try to lure Beckham to the A-League club.
Chief executive Scott Munn said the club planned to offer the midfielder a 10 week contract worth around £1million but they faced competition from Perth Glory plus others from around the world.
China, the United Arab Emirates, Paris, England and even Brazil have been mentioned as potential destinations but wherever he goes, it will bring to an end an eventful career in MLS which saw the midfielder become the face of a new era for the sport in North America.
Beckham's stint in Los Angeles brought success in the form of the Galaxy's third MLS Cup crown last year.
But he also faced repeated criticism from some Galaxy fans, particularly early on in his stay, for a perceived lack of commitment to the cause.
Two loan stints at AC Milan, during the second of which he tore an Achilles tendon, as he attempted to keep his place in the England team did little to help that perception, as well as comments made while in Italy about the standard of football in America.
Two low points arrived back in 2009 when Beckham confronted a fan during a match after his every touch was booed and attracted criticism from team-mate Landon Donovan.
Since then he has won over many supporters, in no small part due to a dramatic upturn in form over the last two seasons, and he was voted the league's best player by fans earlier this year, although his detractors still remain, particularly among the club's hardcore followers known as the LA Riot Squad.
Beckham was brought to America as much for the effect of his brand as his on-field ability, and MLS commissioner Don Garber believes he has been successful in helping to grow the sport.
His final game will take place at the Galaxy's own Home Depot Center, where he arrived on the American stage as the first designated player in MLS back in 2007.