LOS ANGELES: David Beckham will be heading out of Los Angeles Galaxy next month when his contract expires after six years in Major League Soccer; his last match will be the title-deciding MLS championship final on December 1 against Houston Dynamo.
Beckham was voted the league’s best player by supporters last season. However, European perceptions that he had undertaken a sigificant missionary role for the game in the US have been way off target.
In a statement the 37-year-old former England captain said: “I wanted to experience one last challenge before the end of my playing career.”
Melbourne Heart claim they are in talks with Beckham over a “10-game stint” in Australia, despite his camp saying he had “no plans” to play in the A League.
Heart chief executive Scott Munn said: “We are incredibly serious and working tirelessly with David’s representatives to table a compelling offer which is commensurate with the international player that David is.
“We’re taking to David about a 10-game stint. Football is the third code behind Australian Rules football and rugby league – we think David takes it to the next level.”
Beckham joined Manchester United as a 14-year-old and went on to make 398 appearances for the club, winning six Premier League titles and the Champions League. He moved to Real Madrid in a £25m deal in 2003, winning La Liga in 2007 weeks before his switch to the United States.
He made his England debut against Moldova in 1996 and captained the side from 2000 to 2006, making his 115th and final England appearance in a 3-0 win over Belarus in 2009.
Beckham added: “I don’t see this as the end of my relationship with the league as my ambition is to be part of the ownership structure in the future.”
Beckham’s initial contract with the league included a clause allowing him to be involved in owning an MLS expansion team down the line.
His stint in Los Angeles brought success in the form of the Galaxy’s third MLS Cup crown last year.
Twice he moved on loan to AC Milan during the American off-season. The second time, he tore an Achilles tendon that kept him out of a large part of the following MLS season.
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