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Last Updated: Friday, 12 January 2007, 13:51 GMT
Money is not my motive - Beckham
David Beckham
Beckham announced on Thursday he will join LA Galaxy in August
David Beckham insists his move to LA Galaxy is not financially driven.

The 31-year-old will earn a reported 128m over five years after agreeing to leave Real Madrid for the Major League Soccer side at the end of the season.

The deal means Beckham will be earning 500 times more each week than most of his team-mates at Los Angeles.

But he said: "I didn't want to go there at 34 years old and for people to say he's only going for the money. It's not what I'm going out there to do."

Beckham added: "I want to take soccer in the US to another level. I think it can go higher in America than anyone can believe.

"Soccer is huge all around the world except in America and that's where I want to make a difference with the kids."

Beckham left Manchester United to join Real Madrid in 2003 but his arrival coincided with the start of a barren period for the Spanish giants, who have not won any major silverware in his time at the club.

To play with Zinedine Zidane was the biggest honour I have had in my career

David Beckham

The former England captain has also struggled to win a place in Real's first team this season, but he regards the move to Spain as a success.

"Regrets? No. I have never had any regrets throughout my life and career and I never want to," he said.

"I have to say thank you to (former president) Florentino Perez for giving me the chance to actually play for this huge team and to play in that white shirt was an honour for four years.

"To play with Zinedine Zidane was the biggest honour I have had in my career, to play with the likes of Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos... for me, there are no regrets there."

In the US, the news of Beckham's move has been greeted as a historic moment in the history of football in the country.

"David Beckham coming to MLS might be viewed by some as one of the most important moments for soccer in this country and perhaps the history of professional sport," MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a statement.

To be able to manage and coach him will be a dream come true for me

LA Galaxy coach Frank Yallop

"David transcends the sport and is a cultural icon. David is clearly one of the most recognisable athletes in the world.

"People are going to feel really good about David Beckham spending the rest of his career in the US."

LA Galaxy head coach Frank Yallop is confident that Beckham will be a huge success in the US.

"It's wonderful news for us, and we are really happy to have David joining us," said Yallop.

"He has proved himself over the years, and it will be wonderful to have him - and to be able to manage and coach him will be a dream come true for me.

"I see him playing centrally in our league. We have to get him on the ball as much as we can, making us tick.

"It's an athlete's game here, played at a little less pace than the Premiership.

"I think it will suit his game wonderfully well, because he will get to play his football and he will enjoy the players we have here. He will fit in nicely with our group."

Landon Donovan, Galaxy's current star player, agreed that Beckham's arrival would be a huge boost to MLS.

"I think it's hard to quantify what David Beckham being here would mean," he said.

It's tantamount to a semi retirement isn't it?

Gary Lineker on Beckham's move

"Marketing-wise it's a dream come true and it's not a 35, 36-year-old washed-up guy.

"It's a guy who can still play and a guy who still has a lot of appeal, probably the most famous soccer player in the world."

However, Gary Lineker said that it marked the end of Beckham's top-level career.

"It's tantamount to a semi-retirement isn't it?" he told BBC Five Live.

"I did a similar thing when going to Japan at the end of my career: it was an interesting experience introducing football to the Japanese and earning a few quid in the process.

606: DEBATE
BW

"Beckham's played for two of the biggest clubs in the world but it was clear his time was up at Real Madrid and time to move on, and where do you go?

"It's a step down wherever you go, so you might as well experience something different, something new and you can understand why Los Angeles might appeal to the Beckhams."

And Terry Cooke - a former Manchester United team-mate of Beckham who is now playing for Colorado Rapids - was unhappy with the size of the contract.

"It's a disgrace if it's true what I've heard about how much he's going to be earning," said Cooke.

"I heard that the salary cap might be raised by a few hundred grand for next season. But even so, it doesn't matter who it is - you can't justify paying one player that sort of money."

SEE ALSO
The 275 million dollar man
11 Jan 07 |  Football
Beckham agrees to LA Galaxy move
11 Jan 07 |  Football
Beckham's rollercoaster ride
11 Jan 07 |  Football
Beckham's Real career in photos
11 Jan 07 |  Football
MLS paves way for big-name buys
11 Nov 06 |  Football
LA Galaxy admit Beckham interest
06 Nov 06 |  Football


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