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11 Jan 2007 17:37
Former England captain David Beckham will leave Real Madrid at the end of the season and sign a five-year deal for Major League Soccer (MLS) side Los Angeles Galaxy, he told the media on Thursday.
“This week Real Madrid asked me to make a decision regarding my future and the offer to extend my contract for a further two seasons,” Beckham said.
“After discussing several options with my family and my advisers to either stay here in Madrid or join other major British and European teams, I have decided to join LA Galaxy and play in the MLS from August this year.
“I would like to thank supporters and the people of Madrid who have made my family and I so welcome in my time here, making this an extremely difficult decision to make.
“I have enjoyed my time here enormously and I am extremely grateful to the club for giving me an opportunity to play for such a great team and their amazing fans.”
The 31-year-old, who joined Real from Manchester United in June 2003, is the most famous player to sign up for MLS since it began in 1996.
The deal is reported to be one of the biggest in global sport with Beckham set to earn more than $250-million over the duration of his contract.
The news ends months of speculation about the future of the midfielder whose contract with Real expires at the end of the season.
Having been first choice in the Real Madrid starting line-up since he moved to Spain, Beckham lost his place following the arrival of Italian coach Fabio Capello.
He has only started five of Real’s 16 league games this season and was known to be frustrated with his lack of opportunities in the first team.—Reuters
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