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Beckham franchise in Miami confirmed

5 February 2014 16:27

It has been confirmed that David Beckham is to own a new MLS franchise in Miami.

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder retired from football at the end of last season following a short stint with Paris Saint-Germain.

Beckham spent five years with MLS outfit with LA Galaxy between 2007 and 2012, with an option to purchase a franchise believed to have been included in his contract with the American league.

He is the first former professional sportsman to take ownership of a side in MLS.

"We appreciate all that David has done as a player, an ambassador and as a global icon to help grow Major League Soccer," MLS commissioner Don Garber said.

"We are thrilled that he will be an owner, and we look forward to him helping us achieve our goal of being one of the top soccer leagues in the world."

When asked why he had chosen Miami as the base for his MLS outfit, Beckham said: "Why not?

"All joking aside, for me I wanted to create a team that we can start from scratch. I know there was a team here 10 years ago and, unfortunately, they folded.

"I wanted to create a team that can be very personal. It's a big decision, but it's a very personal one. I want to make this my team.

"I've worked hard through my whole career, and I'm going to work hard for this city.

"I'm looking forward to spending a lot more time here."

Miami-Dade County mayor Carlos A. Jimenez confirmed discussions had begun with a view to identifying a site for a new stadium for the franchise, and Beckham added that the project would require no public funding.

"We don't want public funding," he added. "We will fund the stadium ourselves. It's something we have worked very hard to get to this stage where we can fund the stadium ourselves.

"We want to create a stadium, a soccer team, a football club that is the people's football club.

"This is an exciting time for myself, my family, friends and partners and something that we're really looking forward to bringing to Miami."

Asked what calibre of player fans of the new team could expect to be watching, Beckham hinted: "We will want to bring some of the best players to Miami to play for this team. I have seen what happens when you bring great players in.

"Yes, we will bring great players in. The fortunate thing about my career is players are already interested in coming to Miami.

"The one thing I want to achieve, is to set up a kids academy. We want local talent, not just great players from abroad.

"The US team - the way they have improved - has been incredible and the only way that will continue is to have good academies."

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