The 31-year-old English midfielder, weary of the politics and the lack of playing time in Spain with Real Madrid, today agreed to a five-year deal with the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer and will join the team when his contract with Real expires on June 30. According to reports in the British news media, the deal includes salary and commercial opportunities worth $250 million.
“I am proud to have played for two of the biggest clubs in football and I look forward to the new challenge of growing the world’s most popular game in a county that is as passionate about its sport as my own,” Beckham said in a statement.
Beckham joined Real Madrid in the summer of 2003 on a $50 million transfer from Manchester United, the only club he had played with up until that time. But since Beckham’s arrival in Madrid, that storied club has not won a major domestic or international title. And Fabio Capello, the new coach of Real Madrid, was not nearly as taken with Beckham, his entourage and the constant spotlight on the tow-headed player. Capello relegated Beckham to the bench for much of the season.