MIAMI (CBSMiami) – International soccer superstar David Beckham revealed his plans to start a Major League Soccer franchise in Miami Wednesday. The question on many sports fans’ minds is why put a soccer team in Miami after two previous franchises in the area flamed out?
“I think the league is a lot stronger now. I think the teams in the league and the owners in the league are a lot stronger,” Beckham told CBS4. “I think it’s taken a lot more serious than it was 10 years ago and I’m very proud to be a part of that. I know there’s a lot of work that’s been done by Don Garber (MLS Commissioner) and his staff and the people around him have done a lot of great work. But, I definitely think this city is ready now for a new team.”
Beckham believes Miami is ready, saying he “wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t think and believe in this being successful.” But for Beckham, who already has established his legacy around the world as a top soccer star and international icon; the franchise in Miami is about much more than him.
“It is about my legacy, but not my personal legacy. It’s about the legacy of the city and the legacy of the team in the city, which is more important to me,” Beckham said. “I’d love to bring some of the best players in the world into Miami to play on this team.”
Beckham continued, “But, I’m more excited about we’re going to start an academy here. We’re going to have some great young players coming through this academy and hopefully going on to play for their countries and going on to be professional players.”
So was there one thing that helped convince Beckham to pick Miami? It turns out there was, another international sports icon named LeBron James.
“I was lucky enough to be here last year for the playoffs and the excitement, the passion around that, it just kind of gave me the push over the edge that I probably didn’t need, but the fact that I saw that excitement; that’s what I want to achieve,” Beckham told CBS4.
If Beckham can do for soccer in South Florida what LeBron has done for basketball in the area; South Florida’s sports scene may never be the same. Plus, the Dolphins, Marlins, and Panthers will all have to step up their games if they don’t want to get left behind.