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What is Beckham's legacy to MLS?

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posted Mar 6, 2009

So he puts his 'US Project' on hold for a year or two. This doesn't inherently mean up to now it has been a failure.

I'm sure once he has zero chance of playing at the top level, he'll go back to the US.

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posted Mar 6, 2009

I think the 'success' is the increase in brand Beckham and an extra nought or two on his bank account.

Now, if we accept that his motives are purely 'self' driven, can we all just move on please.

And BBC, will you stop fanning the flames. No wonder people question competition, competitiveness and impartiality in the media. How is this headline news?

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comment by Rufio (U13826778)

posted Mar 6, 2009

Of course his motives are "'self' driven". he's a professional, and that's what professionals do. the fact is he's raised the profile of football in the States, which by no means is a bad thing.

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posted Mar 6, 2009

Beckham hardly needed the extra cash, and when he signed for Galaxy he thought his Madrid and England careers were over. He wanted a new challenge, and saw the MLS as a chance to use his image to help popularise football in the United States.

To state his motives are self driven is a bit ridiculous - all acts are self driven in one way or another.

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posted Mar 6, 2009

the main article reads as an apology. If you look at Beckham's career it was always more buzz than beef. Good player, who used clever marketing to become an icon .. and apparently he has realized that he has used up all of his European credit to market himself in the US.

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posted Mar 6, 2009

He always said he wanted to play is the MLS, but when he was at retiring age (about 36/37).

Imo, Becks joined the LA Galaxy too early and should have kept playing at the top levels in Europe for a few more years! This would have kept his England first team oportunities a reality!

...but he did help develop a major chapter in MLS history by opening academies, and fell in love with U.S Soccer after his visits! He lured in the crowds and also attracted some 30-40 year olds from the English leagues like Xavier from Middlesbrough, Huckerby from Norwich, Curry from Ipswich etc...all which were first team for their clubs! This clearly over rules the fact he is on 50 a minute and by wanting the Milan move, he is garenteed first team at the top level, and the 'right' footballers wage!

So he has left his mark in MLS history and hopefully by July 2010 he will be at Milan! By this time hoping that his England chances ain't ruined!

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posted Mar 6, 2009

Of course sales figures are up now but he has he done anything to improve the long term future of the MLS? he was a quick fix because he is more fashion and fame than football. He went there for the hollywood life style and paid the price.

The beckham plastic fans that have been attracted by Beckham will stop going to matches, the fans that matter the actual football fans in america have not recieved huim well they thought they were getting a footballing star but they just got a star. He is overated his off the field activities increases the hype around him meaning everytime he does something good it gets exagerated.

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posted Mar 6, 2009

If all the increased attendances, interest etc is down to Beckham surely when he quits it will dwindle back to what it was.
America is a country full of immigrants, hispanics, Irish, Italians, Europeans, these are all footballing nations - Does these people not follow football? Or do they only follow teams from their homeland?

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posted Mar 6, 2009

Czechmate
It will be difficult to judge whether or not he has had a real and lasting impact on the American as a whole because the recession is starting to bite, so attendances are certain to go down. But the stats in the BBC article speak for them selves - more poeple wached when he was around

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posted Mar 6, 2009

To those who have questioned my you of the phrase 'self driven' perhaps I should qualify this.

One of the stated aims was to increase the profile of football in the USA. Of course, many of us think he went there just for the money and lifestyle. Now he wants to be in Italy. What about raising the profile of football in the USA now? How long was his contract with LA Galaxy? What about honouring it, given the amount he was supposed to be earning rather than choosing to live in Italy for a bit.

Fickle and dim. As well as shallow of course.

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comment by Brian (U2180352)

posted Mar 6, 2009

Real soccer/footy fans in the US loath Beckham and are gutted that he will be coming back, however briefly.

He did nothing on the pitch and he showed a contemptuous attitude toward the fans (and allowed clubs to exploit the fans).

He did no promotional work for the club, which was supposed to be his main asset. He was injured half the time. Often, he didn't even travel with the team to sign autographs or whatever when injured thus angering away fans who were duped into paying a premium price just to see him. Many clubs required you to buy tickets to other matches just to get tickets to their match with LA.

And the ultimate slap in the face is that the guy didn't care. Proof? He couldn't boss the game against sides like Toronto FC and Real Salt Lake but he was influential against teams like Juventus and Roma.

Even with this guy billed as the messiah, Los Angeles was terrible even by MLS standards. The team finished 11th out of 13 in his first partial season there and rock bottom during his only full season there.

Most fans don't want to ever see his face again. As on commenter put it, he grossly overpromised and grossly underdelivered. A big no-no in this sporting market.

He will leave no legacy with the MLS (except lots of disappointment and anger). But at the end of the day, all the teenybopper girls will stop coming because he's not there and all the real supporters that were there before him will still be coming anyway.

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comment by Brian (U2180352)

posted Mar 6, 2009

The only good thing he could indirectly be credited with is that the changing of MLS rules to allow him to come also allowed the arrival in the league of real players who actually made a difference because they acted like professionals, like Schelleto and Juan Pablo Angel.

It says a lot about #23's unprofessionalism that Darren Huckerby made more of an impact in MLS in half a season that Becks did in one and a half.

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posted Mar 6, 2009

saabrian
you have some real issuse!
he did no promotional work?
he did nothing on the pitch?
it was his fault that the other clubs exploited their fans?!!

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posted Mar 6, 2009

NO, Beckham was a curiosity and celebrity. Yes more people went to see the games when galaxy were in town, but they were there to see Celebrity Beckham or Mr. Posh.

When Michael Jordan tried to play professional baseball, he played in minor leagues, and sure enough more people went to minor league games when Michael Jordan's team was in town.

If Kate Moss played for Galaxy I am sure there attendance would increase whenever Galaxy were in town. Of course this would be too obvious a PR gimmick.

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comment by Brian (U2180352)

posted Mar 6, 2009

Prague: Yes, I do have issues. I and most other fans here are sick of a fraud being shoved down my throat. We know the game and we know he sucked when he was here.

When other LA players were visiting local schools and other stuff that MLS players do, Becks was off promoting himself.

Except for the occasional good pass or free kick, he did little on the pitch. How could he? MLS is a league where unfortunately athleticism is the key component and Becks can't run.

No, it's not his fault that other clubs exploited their fans. But it's yet another reason why fans don't want him back.

Ultimately, we don't want him back because he didn't add to the soccer here. He distracted from it.

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posted Mar 6, 2009

Surely the point of any celebrity going to a sport and raising its profile is whether or not the new fans attracted to that sport will say 'hey, this sport is actually pretty good, I think I'll come again'.
It doesnt matter who the celebrity is or even how well they as an individual/team do, its whether the new fans will stay.

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posted Mar 6, 2009

Prague, the American's take their sports pretty seriously and have no time for people who don't deliver in the field of play. As stated, the shallow fans, their to take a peek at "the lovely David" will disappear when he does. Those who go to see the games will be left disappointed at how short from the "messiah" figure he was and will remember all the schpeel he didn't live up to. Most US sports fans think "soccer" is a joke and Beckham's monumental hype job has given them more ammo to fire.

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posted Mar 6, 2009

The man-child had to go! His greed and desire to be centre of attention dictated it along with the desperate need to keep Brand-Beckham alive during the worst recession since the 1930's. Being stuck in a U.S footballing 'no mans land' whilst being excluded from the England set-up would only drive the marketability of Brand Beckham into the ground.

Also the U.S public are no longer buying into the Beckham hype,his wifes denim fashion range has been dropped from numerous reputable and famous U.S stores. No easy Dollar cash cow, not being treated like U.S royalty, not getting needless praise and undeserved relentless free publicity whilst also being in danger of ignored in the Europe drove Beckham to move not football!http://www.thewrap.com/article/1642

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posted Mar 6, 2009

marvellous1
totally accept your arguement. The shallow fans will disappear. But, will there be some others who stay because they actually have seen soccer for the first time and have grown to like it?

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posted Mar 6, 2009

Professor Andrei Markovits of the University of Michigan and author of the book Offside: Soccer and American Exceptionalism says, "I absolutely thought he (Beckham) would have attracted other top players, but he didn't give it a chance, he threw in the towel".

My question is - how has Beckham thrown in the towel? Beckhams' desire to represent England (which I think is what drove him to play for a top side like AC Milan) cannot be questioned. Regardless of fans opinion on whether or not Beckham should be picked for England, his passion for representing his country is something that I wish all of our international players possessed. Therefore, Beckham hasn't thrown in the towel, he has prioritised.


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comment by av it (U10690115)

posted Mar 6, 2009

Fact is "American Football", Baseball and Basketball will always be bigger than football (or as it's stupidly called in USA - soccer)in the USA. It's difficult for us in the UK to understand as football will always be the biggest sport here.

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posted Mar 6, 2009

I do not know what is so had to grasp. Beckham did not go to the US for money he went for his wife as she still had designs on a career in Television. Should he be criticized for that well no, after all she supported him for 4 years in Spain so it is fair he gave her a chance to follow her dreams. However her career in television failed to take off and he found himself playing for a poor team that decided to put all there eggs in one basket. I believe Beckham had a vision that he could help make Football grow in the US that was the attraction and by all accounts he has had a positive effect on the game there, but he is not a miracle worker.
But now with Posh learning that she has no future in LA and Beckham being given an amazing opportunity to play in Milan, what is keeping them there? Only money but he has proved by taking a pay cut this is not the driving force behind the decisions that he makes unlike what some people want to think.

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comment by emsti (U7795389)

posted Mar 6, 2009

At the end of that day if he has increased attendances - then that is great. Now what needs to be done is get "indigenous" US players to make a case that well we don't need Beckham in the US. We can perform as well if not better.

Eventually Beckham would have had to retire - so this was always on the cards. So at this point in time MLS needs to have a reality check if they have not already. Bring him back for exhibition games every so often, do something to maintain attendances and get youngsters interested enough to play. That is the only way MLS is going to succeed in the long run.

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posted Mar 6, 2009

If 'it wasn't about the money', why did Beckham not take a significant wage cut, which given the wage cap, could be reinvested in strengthening the Galaxy side, making them more successful and raising the profile of his time in the US far more...?

Or are we not allowed to question the Greatness of Beckham on the BBC?

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posted Mar 6, 2009

I do not live in the US but I am still going to give my opinion. Firstlyth "illusion" that David Beckham was going to transform the MLS was rubbish right from the begining. It is impossible to accept a contract worth $10m a year and then say it wasn't for the money. The fact that he wants to leave for A.C. Milan and end the "challenge" to change the MLS just proves that he realised that he was getting nowhere and decided to give up the money to play reall football. I'd like to finish by saying if I was american I'd be really p****d off and wouldn't want him to return

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posted Mar 6, 2009

Good but disappointing. Of course part of that is purely the fault of my fellow Americans who seems far more interested in celebrity than in substance, the celebrity or Posh & Becks than the substance of what happens on the pitch.

Now that the Beckham experiment is coming to an end in the USA, hopefully fans will learn to appreciate the wonderful sport of football/soccer.

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posted Mar 6, 2009

I don't think he realized how difficult a task he had before him when he signed for the Galaxy. I don't think his impact on MLS will be a lasting one.

I live in Toronto, which has arguably the most well-supported team (Toronto FC) as well as a fan base with excellent football knowledge. I have to say, we did not need Beckham for the MLS to thrive in our city. What we have is a football-specific stadium, a built-in harcore football fanbase and a solid organization backing the team. More teams with that sort of spine will be what drives MLS into the category of a "major sport" here in North America.

Good luck to Becks. He has always been top-class, but his MLS impact was only fleeting, I think.

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posted Mar 6, 2009

he can do what he wants..what would you have done in his position?
forced out at real madrid and england...l.a galaxy come calling with a big money offer..why not!
once you're back in the england team and then ac milan come calling when you're 33 years old, a long time for a winger, you would love the opportunity to come back.

Personally I love him, he wants to play for England even though he is dropped and may only get a small appearance, compare this to Carragher who when he didnt get picked just hung up his boots in a tantrum...

I know who I think is a true proffesional

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posted Mar 6, 2009

Some interesting views and fair comments expressed here. I agree that there is something of a stalemate caused by Beckham's excursion to America. On one hand he has definitely raised the profile and interest in soccer, which can only help in the long term, but on the other hand, by leaving before his job is done, he will provide an endless supply of ammunition to those who seek to play down the impact of soccer in the US. (Incidentally Football has alternatively been referred to as Soccer in England for as long as I can remember, long before the term "Soccer" was adopted by the Americans. They use that term simply to differentiate between their existing game and ours - not stupid, just convenient).
As I said in a previous discussion on this site:
"There are a lot of people in the US who are negative towards Association Football, but that is because they are afraid of what it might become and the damage it could inflict on their traditional sports. They have good reason to be concerned as you will see over the next 25 years or so, though I think there is room for soccer also. Soccer is alive and well in the US with or without David Beckham, so don't take too much notice of Jay Leno and those few who don't want to understand the attraction of soccer".
In the US there are those who dismiss soccer because of that fear and there are those who love it as much as we do because of the physical challenge the game represents to those who play at any level. Most of the former group do not play. The latter are the youngsters in schools and colleges across America, and they are the future of the game.
Who else remembers the days when England could walk all over the likes of France, Luxemborg, Cyprus, Iran and any African nation? Not any more. The USA will catch up as well and when they do, watch out.

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comment by jw2034 (U856613)

posted Mar 6, 2009

the only reason beckham went out there is that he thought his england career was over and wanted to do 'service' to his wallet, not football, with one more big payday before he retired.

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posted Mar 6, 2009

I've been duped! I clicked on the picture of those 5 hot babes and now I'm here! grr Where have they gone!

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posted Mar 6, 2009

If you look at average attendance (of all matches and not just the ones in which Beckham plays) and the increase that has taken place over the past 2 years, it is completely explainable by the Beckham effect.

As an American, I have to say that his long-term effect will be negligeable. MLS and soccer were already growing in the U.S. They will continue to grow. It may never reach the status of American football, baseball or basketball, but the sport will grow.

I'm ok with us being a proving ground for young players, and a place for older players to stay in shape for a few good years at the end of their careers. Doesn't that actually describe the Dutch, Danish, and Belgian leagues, too? The top of the tops these days are England, Spain, and Italy. Germany, France, Portugal, Argentina, and Brazil would form the next rank. These are where the top class footballers live out their heydays. It would take decades for a U.S. league to break into that.

Our best get shipped abroad. But so do the best from many other leagues. So it goes.

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posted Mar 6, 2009

AS an American, I feel compelled to inject my two cents into this conversation. I must confess that I've alway been somewhat interested in the game of "Soccer" or as You folks call it: Football. My interests first started as a youth, when Pele was perhaps just as big an Athlete over here as Doctor J, or even Joe Montana. Everyone knew who he was, and believe it or not respected his abilities. The effects of his coming over to play here in US are being felt even now, some thirty five years later. Especially on the National Team, which has qualified for the last five World Cups, which would not have happened, had it not been for Pele signing for the New York Cosmos.

Before I go any further, I think I should also give a little background. My Grandmother, came to this Country from Glasgow, Scotland in the 1920's along her sister and brother, whom I understand was a big fan of soccer and even volunteer as a referee. Since they came from Scotland, It has been my guess that my great uncle John, would have been a Rangers fan. So you might say, i have a family interest in seeing Soccer succeed in this country.

Having said that, in spite of David Beckham, Soccer has been growning in this country. Interest has grown to the point where ESPN now runs the scores from the European and Mexican Leagues (Including the Premiership) on their bottom line. IT has also been rumoured that they have been interested in acquiring the North American Broadcasting Rights for The Premiership. This would be a wonderful thing, since it would provide viewers with an excellant alternative their current program. They already broadcast the Champions League and have for the last few years, been showing the scores from THAT competition on the bottom line. It must be noted that in the early days of its existance, before it acquired the rights to the NFL and MLB, ESPN had to scramble for programing and actually did a better job of covering sports from all over the world. I can remember seeing a game between Aston Villa and Totenham on ESPN back in the early 1980's. As I recall, they would also cover Australian Rules Football as well.

I will concede that, the mainstreem "media" doesn't seem to care for the sport, but they also seem to have it out for baseball and that hasn't impacted the popularity baseball AT all. Sadly, this has been the case for a long time. There is a story involving the late Dick Young, (who was a columnist for the New York Daily News) claiming that the people of New York wouldn't know who Pele was. In order to prove his point he decided to take the Brazillian Legand to a Mets game. Much to his surprise, the fans at Shea Stadium gave Pele a standing ovation once they found out he was in the Stands. The media has always been somewhat disconnected when it comes to what the fans know.

I think that Soccer in the US will be fine. I am please with the way we have progressed at the international level. Ever so slowly, the league over hear seems to be growing. This currant economic crisis may be a blessing in disguise for the MLS, since as people have to tighten their belts, they may find that the cost of attending a match is cheaper than going to a football game.

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comment by Swaino (U2032460)

posted Mar 6, 2009

I went to visit family in California in April last year. Seeing as I was there I decided to go and see "The Galaxy" only out of interest to see if Beckham was still any good. To be fair his level is way above that of the MLS and he stood out above the rest. His reading of the game was so much infront of his team mates. Galaxy were playing Toronto and lost 2-3. A certain Danny Dichio of QPR fame popped the winner in for Toronto. The Carson Centre where The Galaxy play holds 30,000. There were 20,000 the day I went to watch. The majority of the crowd was made up of Brits with the same interest as me, and South Americans, who were there for their love of the game. They guy behind me was wearing a Man Utd top and Arsenal shorts!!!

I got talking to the bloke next to me who was an agent and I asked him a similar question. Is it the Beckham factor and would it last? He gave me the impression it was all about Beckham as the crowds at other MLS matches were smaller. He also pointed out that it was 12:00 Sunday lunchtime in a very large Catholic community, who have been to church and then to the footie afterwards.

Had Beckham not been playing I probably wouldn't have gone, and I think MLS will be a poorer place wihtout him. But in his short time there, he might have sparked interest that keeps the footie torch burning.

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posted Mar 6, 2009

Beckham is a disgrace. He is obsessed with being a hero and wanting to be remembered, that's why he has this obsession with continuing with England. Instead of stepping aside and giving the future stars a chance he wants to break Shilton's record so he'll be the most capped English player ever. He went to America to be the saviour of the sport there, and now he's giving up on it. Shocking. It's irritating how much the BBC love him as well, dedicating the mundane fact that he'll be at Milan a little longer as main news... Argh! I can't wait til he retires. Rant over.

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posted Mar 6, 2009

It's not about what he wants, it's what she! wanted, the glizzy hollywood lifestyle, to be in with the rich and famous. She has ruined his career.

You live your dream in Italy David and leave her in tinsel town.

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posted Mar 6, 2009

Lol, a disgrace to what? Some folk really need to get a life. You state your points as if they are facts and you actually have a clue. Are we a little jealous of the good looking rich man?
Oh and before you start, you absolute plug, I dont love Beckham either, I, like others clicked on the pic of the girls! But....you are so stupid I felt a response was merited.

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posted Mar 6, 2009

Hmm, well that's not really a response. If you can give examples of how Beckham isn't pathetically clinging to his desire to be seen as a hero then please do. Brian Glanville in World Soccer magazine has written several excellent examples of his desire to appear the saviour of American football, and to linger amongst the England squad desperate to get minutes on the field to beat Shilton's record. Beckham was a decent player on his day, when I saw him play Wales in Cardiff he was the best player on the pitch, but his desire for the Hollywood lifestyle fame has damaged his career.

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comment by Mack (U8852454)

posted Mar 6, 2009

Beckham was here and Beckham talked to people but he didn't relate to the fans. He was trotted out to give corporate talks and be on talk shows that cared nothing about football - just Celebrity.

By comparison, Blanco came to the Chicago Fire the same time that Beckham showed up in LA. Blanco is in the community all the time and has been a solid representative for the game.

I don't begrudge Beckham a chance to play on the biggest stage again but he basically gamed the American football fan. he sold a lot of shirts but that was about it.

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posted Mar 6, 2009

comment by Red_Army (U3830786)

posted 2 Hours Ago

I've been duped! I clicked on the picture of those 5 hot babes and now I'm here! grr Where have they gone!

...

I'm in the same boat

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posted Mar 6, 2009

MLS didn't need and doesn't need Beckham.

Look at Chicago, Toronto, D.C., Seattle, etc...

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posted Mar 6, 2009

Also, a good example of how the respectability of the league has grown...

Seattle beat several teams to sign Ljunberg. They beat a host of Championship sides (Preston and Derby are two confirmed clubs) to sign Steve Zakuani, even though Preston offered him more money and they beat Real Betis to sign Fredy Montero.

It's not a joke league anymore.

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posted Mar 6, 2009

I've been duped! I clicked on the picture of those 5 hot babes and now I'm here! grr Where have they gone!

...

I'm in the same boat

------------

Snap

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posted Mar 6, 2009

posted 1 Hour Ago

Lol, a disgrace to what? Some folk really need to get a life. You state your points as if they are facts and you actually have a clue. Are we a little jealous of the good looking rich man?
Oh and before you start, you absolute plug, I dont love Beckham either, I, like others clicked on the pic of the girls! But....you are so stupid I felt a response was merited.

perfect.

its amazing how one guy can have such an impact

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posted Mar 6, 2009

David should be honored in offering services like the Beckham soccer academy that has inspired young kids to play to build a future in U.S soccer.

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comment by Ricter (U1780354)

posted Mar 6, 2009

Since I live in the US, I'm a fan of MLS and have followed it since it's inception. If the MLS continues to improve and attract talent and fans, then maybe some credit will be due to Beckham and his popularity. However, I don't he's had much influence overall. The spike in attendance when the Galaxy come to town will soon fade after Becks leaves for Milan. The foundation and "real" fan base are Latinos, other immigrants, and true, long-time American "soccer" fans like myself. Not the so-called "fans" who have shown up to watch one game because they wanted to see David Beckham.

I don't think Becks was up to the challenge in the MLS. The hot, humid US Summers...the lower skill level makes him have to run and work harder...and the physical nature of the MLS. Coach Nichols and his team are notorious for hard tackiling, physical play. At his age, even though he's in great physical condition, I don't think he wanted to deal with the physical aspects of the MLS. This along with the revival of his England career increased his desire to move back to Europe.

The British media can rationalize and spin it to make it sound like Becks accomplished something here....but I they're kidding themselves.

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posted Mar 6, 2009

Who needs David Beckham when MLS has Danny Dichio and Darren Huckerby? :P

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