Major League Soccer side LA Galaxy has unveiled a statue of David Beckham outside the club’s stadium.
David Beckham signed for LA Galaxy in 2007 in a transfer which sent shock-waves across the football world.
He stayed at the side till 2012, making 118 appearances for Galaxy across all competitions. He scored 20 goals for the club and led the side to two MLS Cup and two Supporters’ Shield titles during his time.
Beckham’s transfer to MLS kick-started a series of heavyweight arrivals in the United States, which include the likes of Ricardo Kaka, Bastian Schweinsteiger, David Villa, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney, amongst others.
The LA Galaxy has now honoured the club superstar with a brilliant gesture.
In a first-of-its-kind tribute to a player in the MLS, La Galaxy dedicated a statue to David Beckham outside the club’s stadium.
David Beckham has his own statue, and the congratulations have come rolling in! pic.twitter.com/UvllcXb0Ri
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) March 3, 2019
12 years ago, David Beckham changed the game in MLS by joining @LAGalaxy.
Today, he will be honoured with a statue in L.A. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/5h5qj6bxAv
— B/R Football (@brfootball) March 2, 2019
Galaxy unveiled the statue before the side’s season-opener against Chicago Fire. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a late winner to kickstart the side’s season on a positive note.
David Beckham’s wife Victoria Beckham was also present along with the footballer’s parents. Former footballer and Beckham’s Galaxy teammate Robbie Keane, NBA star Kobe Bryant and musician Snoop Dogg were also present in the ceremony.
The former Manchester United legend expressed his happiness at the gesture made by LA Galaxy.
“I am truly proud you have created something to – a – keep me young and – b – give my family and friends and especially my kids, who can come here one day very soon and see something of their father and see what we created and what I achieved,” Beckham said.
A section of LA Galaxy fans, however, were against the unveiling of David Beckham’s statue. Beckham’s commitment towards the club in the early years at LA Galaxy was questionable, as he made two loan moves to Milan inside two years after joining the MLS side.
Seeing David Beckham tear up as his kids congratulated him during his statue unveiling is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.
— Mike Magee (@magee18) March 3, 2019
“The Galaxy will always be a special place in my heart “
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) March 3, 2019
“Why honour a player who, while obviously valuable to us, wanted to leave at every opportunity he had?” a LA Galaxy fan said, as quoted by Guardian.
“Personally, I don’t see the point of making a statue of anyone 23 years into a franchise’s history. To be honest, Bruce Arena should get one before Beckham, because the case can be made that Beckham couldn’t win in LA until Bruce arrived.”
David Beckham left Galaxy in 2012 to join Paris Saint Germain, where he ended his career a season later. He signed off as a winner, however, as PSG cruised to the league title in that season.
The English footballer made his professional debut with Manchester United, where he enjoyed one of the most successful times of his career.
“The impact that [David Beckham’s] had on the sport in America can’t be overstated.”
Respect from @kobebryant 🙏
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 2, 2019
With the English side, Beckham lifted six Premier League titles and a Champions League title in 1999. The Englishman also won multiple domestic cup competitions and many individual honours at Manchester United.
Beckham also finished runners-up in the Ballon d’Or in 1999, but won the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year in the same year.
After a dressing room bust-up with Sir Alex Ferguson, Beckham left Manchester United in 2003 to join Real Madrid, where he won the La Liga title in his final season at the club. Beckham also had brief loan spells at AC Milan while being at LA Galaxy.
David Beckham is increasingly indulging in football-related business activities. The footballer exercised his option to buy an MLS-expansion team, naming it Inter Miami CF.
MLS announced that Inter Miami is likely to make its league debut in the 2020 season.
Beckham also bought 10% shares in Salford City FC – an English non-league football club partially owned by the members of the Class of 92 (Ryan Giggs, Phil Neville, Gary Neville, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and David Beckham)
Paul Scholes, however, withdrew his shares after being announced as the manager of Oldham Athletic.
David Beckham also endorsed the bid from North America for hosting the 2026 World Cup, which was successful.