David Beckham confirms purchase of MLS franchise

Wednesday 05 Feb 2014
David Beckham during his time playing in the MLS with LA Galaxy

David Beckham has confirmed he has taken up the option to buy a Major League Soccer franchise in Miami.

Speaking at a news conference in Florida the former England captain described his delight.

He said: "This is an exciting time for myself, my family, my friends and partners, and it is something we are really looking forward to bringing to Miami.

"Miami is a vibrant city, it’s a city with a lot of passion. I know this city is ready for football this time around. I know that this is going to be successful."

Beckham holds the MLS Cup along with former team-mate Landon Donovan

Beckham holds the MLS Cup along with former team-mate Landon Donovan

"We are going to make a soccer club that is going to be loved my millions of people - we plan on bringing a team that is not just for Miami but is a global team."

Beckham and his partners are now in talks with local government officials about building a stadium for the new club, but he insisted no public money would be needed.

"We don't want public money, we will fund the stadium ourselves, it is something that we have worked very hard on," he added.

"Nothing successful in life is easy, there are going to be bumps along the way and you have to go through certain tough times to come out at the end being successful."

Beckham already has experience of the MLS, having spent five years playing on the west coast for Los Angeles Galaxy between 2007 and 2012 - and the former Manchester United man said the country and its football league still holds a special place in his heart.

"I’m committed to this city and I’m committed to this league," he added. 

"I’ve seen the change in this league and I’ve seen the interest grow and the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester United and Barcelona all want to spend time here and have visited in recent years.

"There’s a lot of hard work ahead. But we have the answers to it. We are honest people; we have been so far and we will continue to be."

Beckham says Miami is ready for soccer

Beckham says Miami is ready for soccer

Meanwhile, MLS commissioner Don Garber welcomed the move and praised Beckham's work ethic. 

"As you all get to spend more time with David you’ll find him being incredibly focused, incredibly smart," he said.

"All of us that love sport and have a long history of dealing with athletes over the decades know that many of them are incredibly bright and give back to the community – but very few of them have this incredible focus to translate those qualities which made him a great athlete.

"He has been able to transition those skills that made him one of the great footballer to hopefully, and I’m really confident, to being one of our great owners."

While exact dates and details are still to be confirmed, Beckham's team is not expected to take part in the MLS until the 2017 season.

By Jamie Reid Senior Writer