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David Beckham signs for 2 more years with L.A. Galaxy

By Nick Valencia
January 19, 2012 -- Updated 0941 GMT (1741 HKT)
David Beckham has re-signed with the Los Angeles Galaxy after the best season of his five-year MLS career.
David Beckham has re-signed with the Los Angeles Galaxy after the best season of his five-year MLS career.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • David Beckham's 2011 season was best of his five-year MLS career
  • Former England captain helped lead club to its first championship since 2005
  • He says he's "committed as ever" to growing soccer in the United States
  • The 36-year-old had earlier considered returning to Europe ahead of Olympics

(CNN) -- Soccer superstar David Beckham has re-signed with the Los Angeles Galaxy, extending his stay with the team for another two years, the Major League Soccer team announced Wednesday.

Beckham, 36, known just as much for being an international sex symbol as a sportsman, had the best season of his five-year MLS career in 2011, helping lead the club to its first championship since 2005.

"I've seen firsthand how popular soccer is now in the States and I'm as committed as ever to growing the game here," Beckham said about the deal. "My family and I are incredibly happy and settled in America and we look forward to spending many more years here."

Despite "many offers from clubs from around the world," the former England captain said he is still passionate about playing in the United States.

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At one stage he had been expected to return to Europe during the January transfer window as part of his attempt to earn a place in Great Britain's team for the 2012 Olympics in his home city of London.

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"David had many options and we are pleased he felt comfortable, not only with our organization but also with Los Angeles, and will remain an important part of our club, our AEG family and our city," Tim Leiweke, president and CEO of AEG, said in a statement.

The two-time MLS all-star Beckham has tallied 31 assists and 11 goals for the Galaxy in 74 games. He had a league best four postseason assists last year.

"I felt that he was one of the best players in all of MLS last season and we could not have achieved the success that we did without him," said Bruce Arena, Galaxy general manager and head coach. "We look forward to trying to replicate that success this season with David once again in a Galaxy uniform."

Before joining the Galaxy midseason in 2007, Beckham played for Real Madrid in the Spain's top division, where he was one of soccer's most recognizable faces. The former Manchester United star is credited with increasing the sport's popularity in the United States and around the world. A 2002 feature-length film entitled "Bend it Like Beckham" paid homage to the midfielder's impressive ability at dead-ball situations.

"We have made great progress over the past five years in raising the profile of soccer domestically and the MLS on a worldwide stage, and we are encouraged by all the results," said Simon Fuller, Beckham's business partner and manager.

"His new deal confirms our commitment to continuing our journey and making sure the world's biggest sport, soccer, continues to grow in the world's most passionate sports-loving nation, the USA."

In the five years since Beckham's arrival, the MLS has experienced "exponential growth," increasing from 12 teams in 2006 to 19 teams this season, with average attendance rising to 17,872, a statement from the Galaxy said.

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