Friday, 16 March 2007

'Sport' World Exclusive Interview With David Beckham

Now the dust has settled on your transfer to Los Angeles Galaxy, how are you feeling about the move - nervous?
"Not nervous, no. I'm excited more than anything. It was a bit nerve-wracking at first, the thought of moving to a different club and a different country, with a different type of culture - just as it was when I left Manchester United - but I'm looking forward to the challenge."

What about about the standard of football over there - does that concern you?
"People are saying that the standard's really low in Major League Soccer, but it's not. I've played against LA Galaxy for Real Madrid - and against other American teams - in pre-season. I'm not saying the football is at the same level as it is in La Liga or in the Premiership, but it's still very competitive. The football is only a small part of what I'm looking to achieve in the US, though. The challenge isn't to go over there and prove that I'm a great footballer - it's to go over there and prove to people what a great game football is, and how bit is can be in America. I'm not stupid - I know it's never going to be as big as American football, basketball or baseball, but I believe I can help take it to a higher level. I'm looking forward to the challenge.

You've said several times that you'll never close the door on playing for England again. Do you feat that being out of sight in the MLS will mean being out of Steve McClaren's mind?
"No. I'm sure that if I'm doing well then it won't go unnoticed, and I will always be available to play for my country if I'm a fit person and a fit player. I always have been, even now that people are saying I'm older and slower - but I've never been a quick player anyway. But getting a recall, well, that's not my decision is it? If it does happen, then amazing. But, if it doesn't, then honoured to have played the games I've played, and to have captained my country so many times".

The door's never shut then, but won't the logistics of playing in the US make it tricky for you to ever play again for England - would you really be prepared to fly 12 hours back and forth every time you were called up?
"Without doubt. I'd walk back from the States to play for England again".

Have you watched any of the England games since being omitted from the squad?
"Every game. I've watched them all here at home, and it was very weird - particularly the first couple of games, against Greece and Andorra. The first game was tough, very tough, but at the end of the day I'm an England fan and I still want them to do well. It's not as if I'm not playing so I want them to lose (laughs). I've still got a lot of friends in the team and on the coaching staff, and I'll always want them to do well. (Smiles) It's just say that it's getting a little easier to watch".

How close were you to joining a Premiership team?
"I spoke to many, although I am not saying who. Man Utd is my team and I don't think I could have brought myself to play against them for anyone".

How big a regret would it be to leave Spanish football without having won a trophy with Madrid?
"It would be very disappointing, of course, but we might still win something this season, and it would be amazing to go out on a high. If that's not the case, well, I won't look back and see my time here as being anything other other than successful. I've spent four years at one of the biggest clubs in the world, and I've been able to play with so many great players. I've played with, well, Zidane just to name one - just being on the same pitch as Zidane was an absolute honour for me. So yeah, it's been a success and I've had an incredible time. I'll have not regrets".

With LA round the corner, how are you able to train and play with the same intensity as you did before? Surely it's in the back of you mind that one rash challenge could have very serious consequences for your future?
"You can't allow yourself to think like that. I remember being at Man Utd in the build-up to cup finals and the Champions League final, when people are saying exactly the same thing - 'aren't you worried about getting injured?' and stuff like that. But, if you think about what might happen, you take your mind off the game, and that's one thing that I've never done. I still fly into tackles, hence the red card against Betis the other day (smiles), and that's how I'll always be. As long as I'm a Real Madrid player, I will remain 110 per cent focused on winning something with a for Real Madrid. That's the most important thing at this moment in time. Once I finish, on June 17, then it's a different ball game.

Interview by Nick Harper


Jennifer said...

I knew it! I knew that's why he was coming here!! I hope he succeeds. Americans are missing out on a great game.

Another great interview!

brit said...

davids such a great person as well as a fab patriot and first and foremost player so i hope he'l do really wel in America