David Beckham was pinned down by Hannah Storm on this morning’s array of ESPN “SportrsCenter” shows and reclaimed his recommittment to return to the Re-Galaxy in July through the end of the re-MLS season.
It was the first of an array of planned interviews he did with the media since deciding to stay on loan with AC Milan through May 31.
Here’s a link to the 10-minute chat (linked here) or just read the ESPN-supplied excerpts here:
On partially funding his loan agreement between AC Milan and the Galaxy: “There was a commitment I had to make and it’s something I didn’t think twice about because at the end of the day, my career’s never been about the financial side or the money side. I’ve always been solely interested in the football. People may turn around and say it’s easy for me to say because the money’s always been there, but I think all through my career all I’ve cared about is football and where I play my football.”
On (former Galaxy manager) Alexi Lalas’ predicting he’ll be booed upon his return to the U.S.: “I’m sure I’ll have criticism and I understand that, but I want my fans to realize I’m still committed to the Galaxy. I am still committed to the MLS and being an ambassador, but like I said there will be criticism. It’s a shame certain people come out, but at the end of the day I’m bigger than that. I can only make my turnaround by the way I perform and my commitment to the team and I’ll show that when I get back. We’ll have to wait and see on the first time I play back at The Home Depot (Center) and see how that goes”
On the chance he may opt out of the last two years of his MLS contract: “I think leading up to the World Cup, I need to play in Europe to give myself a chance of being involved in that World Cup and after then we’ll see, but I plan on going back to America. My family is happy there. My wife is happy there. My children are settled in at school, and it’s one of the sacrifices we’ve had to make as family. My wife’s been very supportive of my career and until it ends, but as family, husband and wife, father and mother to three boys, we need to do what’s best for our children and our children are settled there.”
On owning an MLS team and what he’d do as owner to prevent similar franchise player-loan options in the future: “I think at the end of the day, you know, I have got the chance to own a franchise at the end of my career and I fully hope that I will be doing that at the end of my career. So that’s something that I’m excited in. This situation happens all over the world in football. Situations like this happen at Manchester United, it happens at the biggest clubs in the world and you sort of move on and you make it work. I think at the end of the day I’ve already said that I will be going back to the Galaxy and I am committed to the Galaxy and my teammates there, but at the moment I need to be playing my football here.”
On whether his time in Los Angeles is a success or failure: “On the pitch it has not been very successful because we haven’t made the playoffs in the last two years. That’s been disappointing, but on every other level it’s been an incredible experience and one that I’ve really enjoyed so far.”
This was after he appeared on NBC’s “Today” show:
And said: “I want to play for my country, I want to play in the World Cup in 2010, and to do that I have to be playing here in Europe and I have to be playing at the highest level. … It doesn’t mean that I’m still not committed to my role as an ambassador in the MLS and also committed to the Galaxy. (I’m) …still committed to my contract with the Galaxy. I’ve got a lot of respect for Tim Leiweke and everybody that brought me there”