David Beckham has promised to bring the world’s top players to Miami after taking up the option to buy a new Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise in the Florida city.
The former Manchester United and England midfielder appeared at a news conference along with MLS commissioner Don Garber to make the announcement.
Beckham, 38, who retired from playing last year, said he planned to make the new team a globally-recognised club though it may be 2017 before it starts playing.
He said: “We want the best. It’s pretty obvious who people would want to see in the team — we have a list of players, but as an owner who is an ex-player it would be disrespectful of me to say who.
“Fortunately I have played with some of the greatest players in the world, and these players have been sending me messages and calling me up and saying ‘Miami, great — when can we get there’.”
Beckham added: “We are going to make a soccer club that is going to be loved by millions of people — we plan on bringing a team that is not just for Miami but is a global team. We will want to bring in some of the best players in football to play in this team.”
Beckham’s group is now in talks with Miami local government officials about building a stadium for the new club, but he insisted no public money would be needed.
He said: “We don’t want public money, we will fund the stadium ourselves, it is something that we have worked very hard on.
“Nothing successful in life is easy, there are going to be bumps along the way and you have to go through certain tough times to come out at the end being successful.”
Beckham said he would not be making an approaches to his former manager at Manchester United, Alex Ferguson, to coach his team.
He added: “He is a great manager and gave me the chance to play for my boyhood dream club, but unfortunately he has retired so we won’t pull him out of retirement, I think he is enjoying that.”
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