David Beckham new owner of MLS franchise
Lengthy process of deal frustrating to 42-year-old
Beckham: "Persistence pays off"
Regardless of his status as one of the most famous people on the planet, when David Beckham – the recently minted owner of an MLS team in Miami – wants to wish his daughter good night via FaceTime, that’s what happens. Think less Brand Beckham and more Dad Beckham.
The 42-year-old global football (and fashion) icon originally has just wrapped up giving possibly the most emotional speech of his professional life.
Beckham spoke at length to a room full of fans and media crews gathered at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts about he was to finally achieve his dream of landing a Major League Soccer franchise in Miami, Florida.
The yet to be named 25th MLS franchise will debut in 2020 in a temporary location, but play permanently in a privately developed 25,000-seat stadium within the city from 2021.
But mere minutes after speaking eloquently, emotionally, and effortlessly about a project which has, at times, consumed his life over the past four years, Beckham could put the historic nature of the day to one side, and catch up with his daughter on the other side of the pond.
On and off the field, football or family-related, David Beckham is nothing if not devoted.
It’s a trait that has served him well over the years, and a calm and composed Beckham was able to put the trials and tribulations into context when sitting down with CNN World Sport’s Don Riddell.
‘The right time’
Numerous locations had been considered for the new team’s home but were either rejected or held back by red tape.
When it seemed that the project was going to wither on the vine, a relatively recent introduction to Cuban-American businessmen Jorge and Jose Mas, who along with the CEO of Sprint Corporation Marcelo Claure, and the founder of Japanese telecommunications firm SoftBank, Masayoshi Son, led to a renewed impetus. In football parlance more reserved for transfers, they finally got the deal over the line.
“I just think that it has been a long journey,” Beckham told CNN. “I look back on (things) now and there’s a reason that it’s taken this long. There’s a reason why we’ve met different owners and it didn’t work out … because it just wasn’t right. Now it’s right.”
Beckham found himself drawing on his two decades of sporting experience when times were tough, and it’s impossible to not draw comparisons from his stellar career for club and country – such as the time he dragged England single-handedly to the 2002 World Cup after scoring a last-ditch free-kick against Greece at his beloved Old Trafford stadium.
“Persistence pays off,” continues the man who represented England on 115 occasions. “I just know that I don’t give in. I work hard. Sometimes things don’t happen for a reason and I’ve learned that over the last four, five years since I finished playing. But I think there’s a reason sometimes why things take time. And sometimes some of the best businesses are built over time.”