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David Beckham

David Beckham, one of Britain’s most iconic and personable athletes of all time may soon be bringing an MLS franchise team and a 25,000-seat airy stadium costing over $220 Million to South Florida with hopes of broadening the market’s international sports and cultural appeal—making a significant statement for the tri-county marketplace.

Over the last few years Beckham and a powerful team of owners, including American Idol franchise creator and entertainment mogul, Simon Fuller and Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure have been working on the development of a Miami MLS franchise in South Florida. Its now looking like final decisions will come down before 2018 from both Miami City Commissioners and the MLS on approvals for moving forward with the concrete plans. From there, the group anticipates a two-year construction process, which means the stadium planned to sit on three acres in Overtown, Miami would open in 2020.

Many of us are extremely familiar with the famous soccer player who’s career began when he signed a professional contract with Manchester United, making his first-team debut in 1992 at the age of 17. During his playing days there, United won the Premier League title six times, the FA Cup twice and both the UEFA Champions League and the World Club Championship in 1999.

It was in 2007 that the path changed for Beckham when he moved to Los Angeles, CA to play for the LA Galaxy in a world record breaking five-year deal before being loaned under a unique time-share agreement to AC Milan in January 2009 and then again in January 2010. While playing with the LA Galaxy, he won 2 MLS Cup Championships in 2011 and 2012. It was the MLS luring Beckham to the LA Galaxy that gave him a deal that included an option to purchase an expansion franchise at a discounted price…That’s when South Florida became a conversation piece for him.

Aside from soccer, today, at age 42, Beckham celebrates his 18th wedding anniversary with the beautiful Victoria Beckham. He explains that due to their strong family unit, their marriage stands strong, outlasting their wide fame and wedding spectacle.

“We have got strong parents too, and they taught us the right values. Of course, you make mistakes, and we all know that marriage is difficult at times. It is about working through it. We have come up against tough times. But we know each other better than anyone else knows us. And we talk.”

Beckham started dating Victoria Adams after she attended a Manchester United match in 1997. She was famously known as “Posh Spice” of the pop music group Spice Girls, one of the world’s top pop groups at the time, and his team was also enjoying a great run of success. Therefore, their relationship instantly attracted a great deal of media attention as the couple was dubbed “Posh and Becks.”

Their union has led to success for all of the Beckhams, from a long-term fashion business and many modeling contracts to the fledgling careers of their children, Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz, and Harper. David isn’t here for your side-eye, however: “Do we stay together because it is a brand? Of course not! We stay together because we love each other and because we have four amazing children.”

Born in the East End of London, David has been a passionate supporter of London. In 2017, he was seen at Wimbledon with the top local socialites and boasts the fashion front with Vogue Editor, Anna Wintour.

Noted as a keen advocate of charitable work, he has supported UNICEF since his days at Manchester United becoming a Goodwill Ambassador in 2005 with a special focus on UNICEF’s Sports for Development program. David is also on the Leadership Council for the charity Malaria No More.

One thing most people don’t know about Beckham is how he suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), which he says makes him have everything in a straight line or in pairs. Victoria claims, “If you open our fridge, it’s all coordinated down either side. We’ve got three fridges – food in one, salad in another and all of the drinks in the third. In the drinks one, everything is symmetrical. If there are three cans, he’ll throw one away because it has to be an even number.“

Beckham’s fame extends beyond the field. In much of the world his name is as instantly recognizable as that of multinational companies like Coca-Cola and IBM. His relationship with Victoria, who is famous in her own right, contributed much to his celebrity beyond football. Many endorsement deals make him one of the most recognizable athletes throughout the world. Having worn Adidas football boots from the start of his career, in 2003 he signed a $160 Million lifetime contract with Adidas, earning nearly half the money upfront, and will continue to earn percentages of profits on all of his branded Adidas products. He also had a 10-year collaboration with Pepsi Co. that expired in 2009 and has promoted Walt Disney Co. theme parks.

David became known as a fashion icon, and together with Victoria, the couple became lucrative spokespeople sought after by clothing designers, health and fitness specialists, fashion magazines, perfume and cosmetics manufacturers, hair stylists, exercise promoters, spa and recreation companies. A great example is his line of aftershave and fragrances called DAVID BECKHAM—The family was paid $13.7 Million in 2007 to launch it in the U.S. During his playing career, which ended in May 2013, he generated an estimated $2 Billion in the world of fashion through shirt and boot sales. In 2002, the man who invented the term “metrosexual” hailed Beckham as the ultimate specimen and he has been described as such by numerous other sources since.

As of 2016, Beckham had more than 40 tattoos. There are names of his sons Romeo, Cruz and Brooklyn, his daughter, Harper and his wife Victoria. In his autobiography David Beckham: My Side, he said that the idea came to him in 1999 after his son Brooklyn was born, following a conversation on the subject of tattoos with Mel B and her then-husband, Jimmy Gulzar.

“I ended up going to this Dutch guy who’d done all of Jimmy’s [tattoos]. I’d finally realized what I wanted a tattoo to represent. Mine are all about the people in my life, my wife and sons, who I want with me always. When you see me, you see the tattoos. You see an expression of how I feel about Victoria and the boys. They’re part of me.”

Sports celebrities have the big screen on their bold resumes too—Even if it’s only by name as in the 2002 film Bend It Like Beckham. In the 2005 film Goal! David made a cameo appearance with Zinedine Zidane and Raúl and then went on to appear in the sequel Goal II: Living the Dream in a larger role, when the film’s lead character gets transferred to Real Madrid. Through the use of stock footage from the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Beckham also appeared in Goal III: Taking on the World, which was released straight to DVD in June 2009.  Due to his friendship with Guy Ritchie, he has made two cameo appearances in Ritchie’s films: as a projectionist in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and as Trigger in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.

So, in South Florida we wait until the moment arrives when we can formally announce the new era of soccer—with Beckham officially taking a stake on the sidelines. Until then, he has already earned our admiration and paved the way for many who seek greatness!

By KC Anderson