David Beckham selects Miami for new MLS franchise

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Miami will be 'fun' says Beckham

David Beckham has chosen Miami as the location for the Major League Soccer team he intends to set up.

The former England captain is thought to be able to buy the US franchise for a discounted $25m (£15.6m) from MLS.

The 38-year-old's option to purchase a franchise is believed to be part of the financial package he negotiated when he joined LA Galaxy in 2007 as a player.

Beckham said he was "excited" by the prospect of Miami when he visited Florida in June.

Any deal has yet to be finalised but 12 potential investor groups from around the world are said to have made contact with the former Manchester United, Real Madrid and AC Milan midfielder, who retired in May after making 10 appearances for his final club Paris St-Germain.

Speaking at a Facebook Live event, Beckham told BBC Sport: "Why America? Because when I joined the Galaxy I always said I'm committed to the MLS and I'm committed to growing the sport in that country.

"I do think there will be a stage when football will explode and will become one of the sports that will challenge basketball, baseball, American football. I think it's a fun place to play the game. I enjoyed my six years there.

"Miami is definitely one of the cities I'm excited about and a place they need football."

There are currently 19 teams in MLS, but the league hopes to expand to 24 by 2020.

A joint venture between Manchester City and baseball's New York Yankees is due to become the 20th team when they launch New York City FC in 2015.

Beckham was heavily criticised for thinking he was "bigger than the manager" in former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson's new autobiography, but at the launch of his own book the Englishman refused to respond negatively.

"My career has been about hard work, always," Beckham told the BBC. "That's all I've ever tried to do for any manager I've played under, any team I've played for, any fans I've played against, any team-mate I've played with.

"I've got so much respect for Sir Alex Ferguson. He was the man who took me to Manchester United and gave me my chance of playing for a team I've always dreamt of playing for. I have nothing negative to say about him.

"Anything he's written in his book will never affect how I feel about him as a manager."

Watch the whole David Beckham interview on Football Focus, BBC One, from 12:00 GMT on Saturday 2 November.

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