MLS news

Beckham rejected return home

January 19, 2012
By ESPNsoccernet staff

David Beckham has confirmed he turned down offers from the Premier League to sign a new contract at Los Angeles Galaxy.

David Beckham faces the press
GettyImagesDavid Beckham faces the press

Clubs from around the world were eager to sign Beckham, with big spending Paris Saint Germain widely expected to complete a deal when the transfer window opened this month.

The 36-year-old former England captain, who has penned a deal with Galaxy until the end of the 2013 MLS season, said "one or two" English clubs tried to bring him home, but declined to name them.

He said at a press conference to mark the signing of his new contract: "I was offered the chance (to return to the Premier League), yes, but I'm happy here so that was a major factor in my decision - my family, my children, and playing for the Galaxy. That was what I was passionate about.

"Retirement was never a part of my plans,'' he said. "It had been talked about by other people but it always is, when you get to this stage in your career.

"I've not even started thinking about retirement yet. Last season was such a special season, not just because we were champions but the way we played and conducted ourselves on and off the field. I could feel a change within the players.

"For me, soccer's the number one sport around the world, apart from America. I want to get soccer to another level in the US. I've felt a change in the last two years and don't want to walk away from it - I want to continue to be a part of that growth.

"One of the major reasons why I wanted to continue in LA is that my family are happy here. We're happy living here. We're happy living in America. But the reason I came to LA is to play soccer. The reason I came here was to win a trophy. I hadn't done that in four years, and last season I did it.

"I'm committed to the Galaxy. I'm excited about this beginning again. We've got a very special team, special players, a great staff, great owners who look after us and make our lives very special to be part of this team, this franchise.

"I've never come back after a season with the Galaxy and been a champion. I wanted to have that feeling. And we are [champions]. But we're not finished. I'm not happy with one championship. I want more."

Asked about his dream of captaining the Great Britain team at the Olympics in London later this year, Beckham said: "Obviously I've had conversations with Stuart Pearce (GB coach), but as for being captain, it hasn't even been decided if I will be selected.

"As long as I'm fit, healthy and in form, then hopefully I'll have a chance of making the team. I'd love to be captain. I've been captain a few times for my country before and to lead them into an Olympics would be special for any player.''