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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 July, 2003, 10:26 GMT 11:26 UK
Real unveil Beckham
Beckham will wear the Real Madrid number 23 shirt next season
Joining Real Madrid is a dream come true
David Beckham
David Beckham will wear the number 23 shirt at Real Madrid next season.

The England captain was officially unveiled as the La Liga champions' new 25m signing on Wednesday.

Beckham, who signed a four-year deal wth the Spanish club on Tuesday, was introduced to more than 500 journalists from 25 countries at the club's basketball stadium.

"Beckham is here because we believe in him as a footballer. David, welcome to the dream league," Real's president Florentino Perez said.

The 28-year-old midfielder was handed the Real number 23 shirt by Madrid legend Alfredo di Stefano, the Argentine striker who made the club such a force in the 1950s and 1960s.

Beckham joins Real's modern galaxy of stars which includes Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo, Luis Figo, Raul and Roberto Carlos and insisted that he "couldn't wait" to get started.

Beckham made a short speech, revealing it was a "dream" to join the Spanish giants.

"I have always loved football," he said.

"Of course I love my family. I have a wonderful life, but football is everything to me and joining Real Madrid is a dream come true.

"I would like to say thank you to everyone coming and joining me in my arrival. Gracias - hala Madrid!"

To be leaving like this is sad for me but I'll move on

Real president Florentino Perez added: "Despite all that's going on, we're not going to lose sight of the fact that we are unveiling this great player.

"He is a great player who is going to become part of the club's great history.

"He is a man of our times and a symbol of modern-day stardom and what is certain is Real have signed Beckham because he's a great footballer and a very dedicated professional.

"His team spirit is unsurpassed and he is one of the best English players of all-time and if only because of that he is with us.

"We love Beckham because he makes us the best team on and off the pitch.

"David is coming to the most passionate football league in the world.

"It is very competitive and intense and reaching that level will be a challenge for him. However, there is no doubt he has sufficient character and talent to face this successfully."

Beckham will join his new team-mates for pre-season training later in July under new Real coach Carlos Queiroz, who was Sir Alex Ferguson's number two at Manchester United last season.

David Beckham
"Joining Real Madrid is dream come true"

BBC Five Live's Matt Williams
"The madness in Madrid is just beginning"

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