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Last Updated: Friday, 12 January 2007, 11:47 GMT
Beckham - the Stateside reaction

On Thursday, Former England captain David Beckham signed one of the biggest deals in the history of sport.

From August, he will ply his trade as a professional footballer in Major League Soccer with LA Galaxy.

But what have the US press made of their acquisition of brand Beckham?

CHUCK CULPEPPER, LOS ANGELES TIMES

You're getting another beautiful face, Los Angeles. You don't seem to mind those.

And you're getting quite the spry haircut, subject to change at any moment.

David Beckham is a global sports icon who will transcend the sport of soccer in America

MLS commissioner Don Garber

You're getting a soccer midfielder, but let's shelve the minutiae for a moment.

You're getting another brand, and, come to think of it, you don't seem to mind those, either.

You're getting a brand so effectively globalised that when Beckham alighted in China in July 2003, fans lined up to swoon, a teenager told of her Beckham dolls at home and a 26-year-old tobacco-factory worker said: 'He's so handsome and he has so much class and breeding.'

You're getting an earthling so famous his look-alikes make approved endorsement appearances to sell his fragrance, yet who somehow seems to exude an everyday decency.

BETH BARRETT & GREG HERNANDEZ, LA DAILY NEWS

The city of stars woke up to a supernova on Thursday - the world's most famous soccer star had signed on to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy in the richest deal in sports history.

David Beckham will have a greater impact on soccer in America than any athlete has ever had on a sport globally

Timothy J. Leiweke, president & CEO of AEG, LA Galaxy owners

The estimated 250 million US dollars, five-year pact with David Beckham marked the biggest Los Angeles sports deal since hockey legend Wayne Gretzky joined the Kings nearly two decades ago.

With his wife, Victoria - formerly Posh of the Spice Girls pop group - Beckham joins the elite of LA's celebrity culture.

And he propels Los Angeles into the centre of an international spotlight with a one-man industry expected to be priceless in everything from glitz and glamour, media deals and tourism promotions to merchandise and Hollywood buzz.

MICHELLE KAUFMAN, MIAMI HERALD

David Beckham, the world's richest and most recognisable soccer player, is bringing his bending free kicks, ever-changing hairstyles and pop star wife to America.

Not since the Beatles has there been a British invasion of this magnitude.

I don't think it's just about glitz. He wants to help build the game in the US

US Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati

The majority of the money - he will earn one million US dollars a week - will come from sponsorship and merchandising opportunities for Beckham, who is as much sex symbol as sports icon.

He already has multi-million-dollar endorsements with Pepsi, Gillette and adidas, and his manager, American Idol creator Simon Fuller, is working to expand Beckham's global brand.

Beckham's move to Los Angeles will inject MLS with glamour and prestige and make him and wife, Victoria, the former Spice Girl known as Posh Spice, instant A-list celebrities on Hollywood's red carpets.

The Beckhams are good friends with Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, and surely will share tabloid covers with them in no time.

BILL PLASCHKE, LOS ANGELES TIMES

You want to sell soccer in America? Vend it like Beckham.

You want to repair the divide between the millions of Americans who play soccer and the thousands who actually watch it? Mend it like Beckham.

It's great for our season ticket holders and it's great for our fans. He'll be a huge asset

Toronto FC coach Mo Johnston

You want people to think soccer here will finally become a major sport and live happily ever after? Pretend it like Beckham.

Arguably the world's most famous athlete is coming to work in Los Angeles, but there's something you should know.

David Beckham is not joining the Galaxy as an athlete, but as an advertising campaign. He is coming as soccer swag, a walking Super Bowl commercial, a big-haired billboard.

His job here is not to win, but to give his sport one last chance to work in the biggest place where it doesn't.

His success will be defined not by corner kicks, but by converts.

THE BOSTON GLOBE

Bend this, TomKat and Brangelina: Becks 'n' Posh are coming to Hollywood.

Most coaches will want to play LA Galaxy early in the season now if he's coming later

Real Salt Lake coach John Ellinger

And David Beckham didn't even have to audition to become the next American Idol.

The most recognised soccer player on the planet - fashion icon, tabloid fixture, marketing giant - announced a deal on Thursday to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Bringing free kicks, glitz and his Spice Girl wife, Beckham is leading another British invasion, hoping to do for American soccer what the Beatles once did for pop music - make it rock.

WHAT FANS ARE SAYING ON THE US MESSAGEBOARDS

"Don't shed tears for Becks. He is going to be huge here, and the league, while not the equivalent of the major European leagues, is better than you suspect."
triplet1, on www.bigsoccer.com

"Becks' experience and execution from set pieces will more than compensate for his decreasing speed and fitness."
YanksForTheCup on ESPN

"Beckham was and still is a tremendous talent and anyone who says otherwise is talking out of their backside. What have Man United done since he left?"
ManInCognito on www.bigsoccer.com

"I think getting Beckham to play in MLS is a big first step for the growth of the league, but it is not the last. I really want Zinedine Zidane to come out of retirement. He has the ability that many Americans want to see, he can beat defenders and he has amazing dribbling and passing skills."
9876espncom on ESPN



SEE ALSO
Beckham agrees to LA Galaxy move
12 Jan 07 |  Football
Money is not my motive - Beckham
11 Jan 07 |  Football
The 275 million dollar man
11 Jan 07 |  Football
LA here we come
12 Jan 07 |  Football
Beckham's rollercoaster ride
11 Jan 07 |  Football
Beckham's Real career in photos
11 Jan 07 |  Football
LA Galaxy admit Beckham interest
06 Nov 06 |  Football


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