English soccer star David Beckham has arrived in Los Angeles to join the city's Major League Soccer team, the Galaxy. Mike O'Sullivan reports, Beckham was welcomed Friday to his new home arena in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson.
Thousands of cheering fans and hundreds of journalists gave Beckham a rock star welcome, as he was handed his new LA Galaxy jersey.
The former captain of the English national team called his move to Los Angeles one of the biggest challenges of his career, a move to a different country on the other side of the world, but he says it a challenge that he welcomes. "My family have now moved to Los Angeles, something we are looking forward to, something we are very proud of. And in our life, everything is perfect," he said.
Beckham's wife, Victoria, also got an excited welcome. Known as Posh, she was once part of the pop group the Spice Girls. The couple and their three children will live in a sprawling Beverly Hills mansion.
Beckham's five-year contract with the Galaxy will pay him more than five million dollars a year, plus tens of millions more in commercial endorsements. The Galaxy hope their star mid-fielder will help popularize soccer in the United States. Beckham has played for England's Manchester United and Spain's Real Madrid, and he says soccer can potentially be as big in the United States as it is in other countries.
In the audience to greet the new Galaxy star was Michael Wadley, a visitor from Alabama in the southeastern United States. His son is taking part in a summer soccer camp, and he says the sport is getting popular in his state. "Soccer is probably a bigger sport now than (American) football used to be back about 20 years ago," he said.
Beckham is expected to draw a sellout crowd for his first Major League Soccer match in Los Angeles July 21, when the Galaxy will face the visiting English football league's Chelsea club.