Beckham keen to build on Galaxy title
David Beckham has nothing to prove in Major League Soccer, but that doesn't mean the English football icon can't see plenty of work to do now that he has opted to return to the Los Angeles Galaxy.
"It's not unfinished business -- it's just doing it over again," said Beckham, whose future had been the subject of rampant speculation when he capped the fifth year of his ground-breaking five-year MLS deal with the MLS Cup crown in November.
"I've never come back after a season with the Galaxy and been a champion," Beckham said as he addressed the media at Staples Center arena on Thursday, a day after the Galaxy confirmed he would return.
"I wanted to have that feeling. We're not finished. I'm not just happy with one championship, I want more," added Beckham, who won six English Premier League titles with Manchester United as well as a Spanish league crown with Real Madrid.
Beckham has said repeatedly that his family's fondness for their Southern California lifestyle would be a key factor in his decision.
So it played out, despite the efforts of Paris St Germain and a few other European clubs to lure him and reports in December that he had, in fact, accepted an offer from the French outfit.
"We knew there would be a lot of people tugging at his sleeve, but we also knew it would be hard to replace Los Angeles and the experience here and the camaraderie of this team," said Tim Leiweke, president of Galaxy owners AEG.
"We are pleased David looked at those that tugged on the sleeve... but he hung in there with us throughout all of it.
"Despite the speculation in the papers that he had signed or he had committed, we weren't a rebound," he added. "We were always in the middle of the conversation."
Beckham, who will turn 37 in May, accepted a two-year deal from the Galaxy that has been reported to be worth $15 million.
As he accepted his new Galaxy jersey, he thanked coach Bruce Arena and Leiweke for agreeing to make do without him if he is selected to play for Britain at the London Olympics in the midst of the MLS season.
"Obviously, I want to be part of the GB team," said Beckham, a London lad who lent his voice to the campaign to bring the Games to London.
"I've never played in the Olympics. It's great that we have Tim and Bruce on board with fact that I will be gone for that time.
"As long as I'm healthy, as long as I'm in form, hopefully I have a chance to be on the team."
In the meantime, Beckham said he's happy to focus on work this side of the pond as the Galaxy attempt to repeat as MLS Cup champions -- the team that wins the playoffs to determine the MLS crown -- and as winners of the Supporters' Shield -- the team that tops the table at the end of the regular season.
Just getting to grips with such nuances of the US league took him a couple of years, said Beckham, who was looking forward to playing an entire pre-season with his club after loans to European clubs and injury made him a late arrival in recent seasons.
"Hopefully it's a good omen for me," Beckham said.
The Galaxy's next game is March 7 when they face Toronto FC in Toronto as part of the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League quarter-finals. The Galaxy's first MLS game is March 10 at home against Real Salt Lake.
"He has come back to the Galaxy to win, I know that," Arena said. "His personality, his competitiveness is contagious in the locker room. I hope this year becomes an even better year for David."
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