Madrid; David Beckham will be worth every cent of his multi-million dollar move to Los Angeles Galaxy, according to club president Alexi Lalas.
The 31-year-old midfielder has agreed a switch from Real Madrid to the Major League Soccer (MLS) side from the end of this season, on a five-year deal worth $250 million (Rs. 1,105 crore) including bonuses and endorsements.
“If you want something great, you have to pay for it. Beckham is worth every euro we have paid for him,” Lalas was quoted as telling Spanish daily El Pais.
“It is a deal from which both parties will benefit. Since we announced the deal we have sold thousands of season tickets, shirts and other items associated with the team. He has given the club a lot although he hasn’t even played yet.”
But Lalas was keen to emphasize the footballing qualities that Beckham would bring to the Galaxy, as well. “He will help revolutionise the MLS economically and from a football point of view. He was the England captain and shone at Manchester United and Real Madrid, two of the world’s biggest clubs,” said Lalas.
“He is one of the best players in the world, but he will have to fight for his place here. If he doesn’t perform he will have to go on the bench like anyone else.
“We play a 4-4-2 and although he plays well on the flank I have thought about playing him in the centre because he works so hard. From there he can play short and long passes.”
Real Madrid have decided to drop Beckham from their squad since he turned down a contract extension, and his opportunities in the first team now look remote for his remaining months in the Spanish capital.
But Lalas said Beckham would not be looking to bring forward joining the Galaxy in time for the start of the MLS season in April.
“I would love him to come in April but he told us it was very important for him to complete his contract with Real. We will wait for him with open arms in the summer,” Lalas added.
“It seems unfair Beckham has been blamed for bad results with England and Real. If these teams play mediocre football it isn’t his fault. Football is a game of 11 against 11, not Beckham against 11.”
Real have hinted that Beckham might return to play in the coming months but stressed it was up to the player to prove he was fully fit and had the right attitude.