David Beckham: “I didn’t want to walk away”

In 2007, the MLS got an enormous boost. David Beckham, one of the best and most popular soccer players of this decade signed a record five-year $32.5 million contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy, although it was reported to be a five-year $250 million contract with all his endorsements. This past year looked like it was going to be the English star’s final season with the Galaxy. It would’ve been the perfect way for him to go out. Not only did Beckham have his best season in the MLS but he helped the Galaxy capture the title. At 37-years-old, he could have called it quits and gone out on top with another national title. Or he could’ve taken one of the lucrative offers he had to return to Europe and play soccer there. Beckham rejected both of those offers and instead will return to Los Angeles for two more years.

This is a huge coup for the MLS and for soccer in America. One of the most brilliant European players of the last decade has decided to stay in the United States and hopefully it will help the game continue to grow David Beckham joined The Dan Patrick Show to talk about the kind of pressure a soccer player feels versus the pressure a field goal kicker does, whether or not he thinks about one thing in particular when he is about to take a penalty kick, how long he thinks about a missed kick, how nice it was to be courted by so many teams this offseason, and if he wants to own an expansion team if that opportunity comes up.

On the pressure a soccer player feels versus the pressure a field goal kicker does:

“Oh of course. It’s all on you. There’s kind of a lot of pressure in soccer and football with penalty kicks. I’ve taken a couple, missed a couple, and scored quite a few. Of course there’s pressure with that.”

Whether or not he thinks about one thing in particular when he is about to take a penalty kick:

“Not really. You just kind of concentrate on hitting the back of the net and making sure you have that one spot in mind. I think when I took that penalty that I did in the World Cup I did against Argentina and  four years before I had been sent off and had a long three or four years leading up to this World Cup. A lot of things went through my mind then but as soon as the ball hit the back of the net it all blacked out and I forgot about everything that had gone on in the last four years.”

How long he thinks about a missed kick:

“For a while. It haunts you for a while, especially if it’s a big one, a big one in World Cup game or in a league situation, it plays on your mind for a long, long time.”

How nice it was to have so many clubs interested in him this offseason:

“At my age it felt great. To have some of the big European teams calling up and still trying to get my signature, it was nice. At this point in your career you expect to just be with one team and not jumping from team to team. When I had offers from different clubs in Europe I was honored by that. I wanted to stay where I was happy, I wanted to continue with the success we’ve had with the Galaxy and outside of the Galaxy as well, and I made the right decision.”

If he would like to potentially own an expansion soccer team in the States:

“Definitely. That’s something that I obviously have in my contract, that I have that option. It’s something I’m definitely interested in. The reason why I came back here is because I believe the game is growing and I do believe this game in the next 10 or 15 years in this country will get bigger. I want to continue to be a part of that and it’s one of the reasons why I stayed. I wanted to enjoy the success I’ve had with the Galaxy and the success I’ve had as an ambassador of the MLS and continue that. I didn’t want to walk away.”

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