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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 June, 2003, 12:42 GMT 13:42 UK
Real joy at Beckham deal
David Beckham
Beckham said nothing about the deal when he landed in Japan
Real Madrid sporting director Jorge Valdano says new signing David Beckham will improve the club on and off the pitch.

The Spanish giants have agreed a 24.5m deal with Manchester United to sign the England captain, who is currently on a promotional tour of the Far East.

Should he pass a routine medical, Beckham will formally complete his move to the Bernabeu on 2 July.

Valdano hailed the signing of Beckham at a news conference on Wednesday, saying: "As a club, we will have a better presence and image. His move will make us a better team.

"He is a great professional, he loves football and he dedicates himself to his profession exclusively.

Real director Jorge Valdano
We demand 50% of our players' image rights... all our other players have followed this policy
Real's Jorge Valdano explains Beckham's contract

"We were never nervous about not getting him - he was always interested."

As part of his deal with Real, Beckham has agreed to hand over 50% of all future sponsorship contracts for products he might agree to endorse.

"In the case of Beckham it was more complicated because his potential image is very impressive," said Valdano.

"But this agreement marks his wish to come to Real Madrid, even if it means losing money."

Valdano also confirmed Beckham will not be given his usual number seven shirt - currently worn by striker Raul.

"Beckham will follow the norms at Real Madrid and wear a free number between one and 25," said Valdano.

"All the players who have come here in recent years have done the same, choosing one of the numbers that has become free."

I'm sure he'll be well received and he'll settle into the squad well
Real Madrid's Roberto Carlos

The England captain may also have to be content with being second to Brazilian Roberto Carlos in the queue to take Real's free-kicks.

"I'll let him take some of them - but only some," Carlos joked.

"He's scored some beautiful goals from free kicks but he doesn't have to take all of them."

Carlos added: "Our president Florentino Perez has shown he can sign the biggest players.

HAVE YOUR SAY

"Beckham is part of that group and in Real Madrid you can never have too many good players.

"I'm sure he'll be well received and he'll settle into the squad well."

Coach Vicente Del Bosque earlier said of Beckham's arrival: "The acquisition of Beckham is in keeping with the philosophy of our president Florentino Perez since he arrived here.

"He's a football icon and a great player. He's a player that is not limited to one particular part of the field. He's a midfielder that can play in different positions."

Following Beckham's signature, there is speculation Luis Figo, one of several big-name midfielders at Real, may be the man to make way, with Inter Milan among those linked with the Portuguese star.

But Valdano insisted: "Figo is one of the most important and best players we have."


WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Sport's Sally Nugent
"Beckham admitted the offer was too good to turn down"




VOTE RESULTS
Will David Beckham be a hit at Real Madrid?
Yes
 70.29% 
No
 29.71% 
10068 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

SEE ALSO
Beckham angers Barca
18 Jun 03  |  Football



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