David Beckham will leave Real Madrid at the end of the season and join side Los Angeles Galaxy on a £128million ($250 million) five-year deal – which works out at a mere half-a-million pounds a week.
David Beckham, the embodiment of Real Madrid’s ‘Galacticos’ ethos, will be leaving the famous Bernabeu stadium.
The former England captain will leave Real in June and begin his new career in Major League Soccer in August.
Beckham said in a statement: ‘This week, Real Madrid asked me to make a decision regarding my future and the offer to extend my contract by a further two seasons.
‘After discussing several options with my family and advisers to either stay here at Madrid or join other major British and European clubs, I have decided to join the Los Angeles Galaxy and play in the MLS from August this year.
‘I would like to thank the supporters and people of Madrid who have made my family and I feel so welcome in my time here, making this an extremely difficult decision to make.
‘I have enjoyed my time in Spain enormously and I am extremely grateful to the club for giving me the opportunity to play for such a great team and their amazing fans.
In terms of finances it is a mega deal and compares with the biggest in mainstream US sports American football and baseball.
The MLS have recently changed their salary cap rules to allow sides to make ‘marquee signings’ of top international stars. The Beckham deal will see the 31-year-old benefit directly from all his image rights and related sponsorship deals which in the past have had to be shared with his club.