Image credit: Ryan Healy.
It has become common in recent years for major European football stars to use lower flight international leagues as a form of (incredibly) well-paid retirement. In 2007 the world’s most famous football player David Beckham moved to MLS side LA Galaxy for an estimated fee of $6.5m per year to do… not that much actually.
Now that Beckham is leaving Galaxy, retiring from his retirement as it were, it is expected that a number of teams will attempt to snap him up, more for the marketing opportunities and extra ticket sales the Beckham brand brings than his ageing footballing skills.
According to the London Evening Standard, Beckham’s move is more likely to be “determined by his wife’s increasingly successful fashion career than any remaining footballing ambitions”. Where better than a fashion metropolis with access to vast Asian markets like Shanghai?
[Victoria Beckham] is said to be keen on staying in America and wants to open her first store in New York, raising the possibility that David may stay in the MLS with the New York Red Bulls.
Another option is that Beckham could join Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba at big-spending Shanghai Shenhua in China but his spokesman this week poured cold water on a move to Australia.
Paris Saint-Germain, which was recently bought by the Qatar government, could offer him the European competition he craves.
A “farewell stint” in the English Premier League is unlikely, as Beckham has previously said he would not play for any team other than Manchester United, where he first attained superstar status. Galaxy owner Tim Leiweke said that Beckham “not only took our franchise to another level but he took our sport to another level.” Fans of the Chinese Super League will be hoping that Beckham might lift the standard of Chinese football in a similar way.