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Quote Sheet from Nov. 29 Press Conference at The Home Depot Center: LA Galaxy midfielder David Beckham

on Fri, 11/30/2012 - 02:02
LA Galaxy midfielder David Beckham
On the week leading up to the final:
“It’s been a quiet week as you can imagine. It’s exciting. When we reached MLS Cup Final, there’s an excitement around the team and around the club, so this week has been about preparing for Houston, preparing for the game on Saturday. So it’s been an enjoyable week.”
On his emotions during the last week and the final:
“It’s more excitement at the moment, leading into the game. I know that I’m quite an emotional person so I know that I’ll feel more emotion probably the day of the game and maybe the night before the game. I’m just really excited about the game. To be playing in an MLS Cup Final, and especially a second one that’s being played in our own stadium, I’m excited and it’s going to be special.”
On the possibilities of the next international player and interest overseas:
“I think there’s many players that could come into this league and into this team. But it’s obviously down to the owners, the club, to decide who comes in next. I’ve enjoyed my time here and the players I’ve spoken to that play in Europe, they’re always interested in how the league is and how the team is and how playing here is, so there’s definitely interest from players, but who would come in, I don’t know. We’ll see.”
On adjusting to the game in the U.S:
“Even after six years, I’m still personally getting used to calling it ‘soccer.’ I still have my moments of saying ‘football,’ but to me it will always be football. But I have adapted myself over the years and I’ve done pretty well maybe in the last year.”
On the growth of league during his time in LA:
“Yeah, I think the commissioner has done an incredible job, especially in the last five or six years, raising the profile of this league and getting it to a position where now this league is a real stable league. We can’t forget that the league is only 17 years old and that’s relatively or very young for a league. The position we’re in at the moment, the interest that is around and surrounds this league, is pretty good. It’s there to get to that position and it’s there to be able to reach a level that can compete with some of the best leagues in the World. The interest now when it’s talked about this league in Europe people are starting to take it very seriously and that’s an amazing thing to see.”
On how he has grown personally while in LA:
“I think I’ve matured even more so as a player. I think as you get older and you play more years in this game, your mind gets a bit quicker to be honest. The legs might be a little bit slower than they were when I was 21 years old, but I’ve always said it, I’ve never been a quick player, speed and pace has never been an issue for me in my game. But I think with your mind you become more clever. You look at players like Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes and they’re playing in a top league at their age and they adjust to it. I think you tend to do that over the years when you become older.”
On the ups and downs of his time in LA, being center of attention and criticism:
“Actually I’ve played the villain quite a few times over my career, not just in the U.S.; I’ve had it in certain other places where I’ve played. I’ve never been booed by my own fans with other clubs but I had that at a certain point here and I overcame that. I think we’ve kind of won the fans around now and I think they’re very appreciative to what the team has done over the last three or four years. I think we’re in a position now where we travel to most places around the U.S. and we sell-out stadiums. And that is something that we’re very proud of as a club. We’re very proud to travel around and sell-out stadiums. I think, I’ve always said it, even when I stop for gas in Carson and people come up to me and they know nothing about the game and they’re like, ‘we’re coming to your game this weekend.’ So we’ve got support and interest from all different kinds of people and people that wouldn’t usually come to a soccer game, so I think it’s a special place at the moment.”
On what kind of pitch he gives when helping recruit future international players to come to MLS:
“My pitch is simple: if you want to be a part of something that is going to be big. Because when Tim Lieweke came to me six years ago in my house, that’s exactly what he said to me. He said ‘soccer’s not one of the biggest sports in the U.S., but one day it will be.’ And I believed him. It’s something that when I first came over here I committed to this league, I committed to this team and I committed to growing this league. Just because I’m not playing here anymore after the weekend, my commitment stays the same. And I will do anything to keep these players coming over like Robbie Keane, like Thierry Henry, and anything I can do on that side of things I want to do. Because I want to see this league continue to grow. I think and I know it’s the number one sport in the World, there’s other great sports here of course, but I believe that it can compete with basketball, I believe it can compete with American football and baseball. So that’s why I’m totally committed to that.”
On what he thinks his legacy in the league will be:
“I’ve said it all the way along that I think it’s down to other people to decide what my own impact on the game here has been and on the sport. I always said from day one that since I came here, of course there was going to be a certain amount of interest and certain amount of interest from around the world. When I’ve been back to Europe and when I go back to England, especially at Christmas, and I’m watching Sky Sports and they’re talking about the MLS and they’re talking about the Galaxy, Seattle, Red Bull, there’s interest there now. If that’s what I brought to this league, then great. Hopefully it’s in a great position to continue to grow.”
On rumors of him being involved with a New York franchise:
“I’ve been hearing the Cosmos thing for the last two or three years and no, that’s not true. My manager has definitely not had a conversation on that side so that’s definitely not true.”
On the possibility of Saturday also being Landon Donovan’s final MLS game:
“With Landon, I think obviously he’s said over the last four, five months a couple times about he’s possibly going to finish this season. Landon’s a great player, he’s a great talent. He’s a special talent in this team and a special talent in this country. And he’s still young. So I personally hope that he doesn’t stop playing, because I believe that he’s still got a good few years left in him. Whether he needs a break, whether he need to just step away from the game for a while and then come back, but 30 years old is still young. I hope he continues, so lets hope this is not his last game and lets hope that when he spoke about he didn’t have the hunger like he used to, let’s home that was just a moment that he had because from what I’ve seen when he’s on the training field and on the field the hunger’s still there to me. So I hope a talented player like him continues to play for this club.”
On why he still wants to play when this could provide a high note to retire on:
“It could be a really nice way to bow out, but I do believe I’ve still got another challenge inside me. I do feel like I can still play, I don’t know how many years left but I do feel like I can still play. I’ve had an amazing time; I’ve had an amazing time playing here for the last six years. Like I’ve said before, last year felt like the right time to step away because it was the end of my five-year contract, winning the championship in my last year in our stadium in front of our own fans, it kind of felt right to leave. I discussed it with my family and I just felt like I had some unfinished business here and rightly so because I came into this season and going through to the MLS Cup Final now it feels right, it feels like the right time and that’s why I came to the decision. As for the future, I said last week that I’ve got some interesting and exciting options on the table. I’m very flattered by some of the options I’ve got, so yeah, I still feel like I can play and I still am not considering retiring.”
On rumors of a move to Monaco and other interest he has received:
“I heard the Monaco thing on the way to training this morning from a friend in London who said ‘I hear you’re going to Monaco.’ So that was the first I’ve heard of that.  Like I said, I’ve very flattered by some of the interest that I’ve had, and some serious interest that I’ve had. I said yesterday that it’s always nice to be recognized by managers and good managers and the fact that I’ve still got managers like Carlo Ancelotti and Harry Redknapp and Sam Allardyce, managers like this are coming out saying they’d love me to play and they know how professional I am that means a lot to me. That’s what I’ve tried to base my career around, my whole career around over the years, being a professional and working hard and it’s nice to be recognized like that.”
On his future role as a management partner in the league:
“Obviously now I’m finishing playing over the weekend, the ownership part comes into play and it’s something that I’m excited about. It’s something that again I think proves my commitment to the league and to whatever club I become part-owner or owner of. I’m excited about that. I’ll always be committed to the Galaxy in some way because I’ve been here six years and it’s like Manchester United, like Real Madrid it becomes a home for me.”
On leaving with the Galaxy still involved in the CONCACAF Champions League:
“I’m happy the team is in the position we are, and the reason that we’ve done well this season is because we are a team, we’re a complete team and we’ve got a lot of character. The fact that we’re in the Champions League is a huge thing. As far as sticking around for it, that’s not going to happen. My last game will be this Saturday for the Galaxy. Like I said, I won’t be sticking around for the Champions League but I’ll be supporting the guys.”
On why he decided this was the right time to move on:
“I thought last year was the right time, but after sitting down with my family, like I said, I felt that I had another year in me and I felt that I had some unfinished business with the Galaxy and with winning another trophy. My mind is set now. I believe that I’ve done everything that I can; I’ve succeeded in winning a championship and hopefully another championship on Saturday with the Galaxy – which won’t be easy by the way, we come up against a Houston team that is an exceptional team so it’s going to be a difficult game – but I just feel as a player, as a professional sometimes it’s hard to walk away from places and it will definitely be hard for me to walk away from the Galaxy because I’ve gained a lot of friends here on and off the field. We’ve got an amazing franchise that’s run unbelievably well by the owners, but it’s just not about the owners, it’s not about the players and the staff that we’ve got around us; we’ve got amazing fans, we’ve got amazing back-room staff that do a hell of a job to get us to where we are today, so I’m going to miss all of them.”
On whether he felt pressure to live up to fan expectations and dealing with the highs and lows of his time in MLS:
“I felt no pressure whatsoever. I’ve been in this position before unfortunately, or fortunately since then I know how to handle it. And I’ve had abuse from fans before, that’s kind a of a week-in, week-out thing when you play in Europe.  When you go away to opposing grounds it happens, you’re booed, you’re jeered, it’s one of those things that happens. I’m used to that side of it and I’m glad it’s not like that anymore because it’s never a happy moment stepping out into your own stadium and being booed by your own fans and seeing some of the banners that were out up there, but it is what it was at the time, it happened, fans weren’t happy and I just did what I always do which is talk on the field and work hard and hopefully I turn people around and if I don’t then that’s the way it is, I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. At the end of the day I was happy that I turned it around and now I think the majority of the fans are on my side.”
On being mentioned with some of the game’s all-time greats:
“I don’t know, I can’t be talked about in the same breath as the majority of these players like Sir Bobby Moore and Bobby Charlton and players like this. I’m honored to have played for my country, I’m honored to have played for the teams I’ve played for throughout my career and I was honored to have spent some time with Sir Bobby Charlton over the years with Manchester United. He was my dad’s favorite player, he was my favorite player and to spend the time that I had with him was a dream come true. And to even be talked about in the same breath as some of these players is a dream of mine from a very young age.”
On Bruce Arena and his impact on Beckham’s time in LA:
“Bruce is what changed this team, for me four years ago … [Phone call interruption] … Bruce, for me, four years ago he was the manager that came in and changed this because when I first moved here we were kind of jumping from manager to manager and coach to coach and the team was not settled in any way, we didn’t have any stability. The first year, year and a half was kind of very unsettling and it wasn’t a great place to be and then Bruce came in, settled everything down and that’s the reason we’ve had the success that we had in the last four years. He’s a great man manager, the way he looks after players, the way he looks after the team, the way he treats the players. He’s strong and harsh when he needs to be, but he also puts his arm around you and has a joke with you when you need that and I think that’s important with management. I owe a lot to Bruce and his staff because the work that they’ve done has been incredible and it’s been an honor working with him for the last four years.”
On why he would leave when things are finally going so well in the U.S. as well as where the league is at right now:
“Because I love a challenge and I feel as if I’ve done everything that I wanted and set myself out to do in this team and within the Galaxy. I was actually trying to tell one of the players the other day that I was kind of like a quarterback, like a Tom Brady, you know, I’m on the ball, waiting for players to move and he was like, ‘no you’re not, you’re nothing like Tom Brady.’ I’ve had an amazing six years here, simple as that. It’s been a great experience, it’s been a challenge in the first couple years but a challenge that I knew that I was going to be up against and a challenge that I knew that I was going to succeed in. Winning the championship last year was for me the icing on the cake on the field. Off the field, we’ve done a lot of hard work, not just myself but the people around the league, the owners around the league, the commissioner, the work that’s been done, the academies that have been set up in every MLS team now to bring young players through from a club into a professional situation, they’re the kind of foundation that this league needs. It’s a congratulation to the commissioner and to everybody that’s done the hard work because it’s what happens in Europe, it’s what happens in the best leagues in the world and now it’s happening here. So the future’s going to be bright.”
On facing off against Houston and especially the danger of Brad Evans in the Dynamo midfield:
“I was sad for Brad [Evans] last year, for him missing out on the final last year; a player that had the exceptional year – unfortunately he won the assists last year just in front of me by one I think at the end. He’s a great player and I was sad to see him [out last season]. I know he’s a great guy as well so it’s great to see him fully fit, it’s great to see him playing this weekend ­– I hope he doesn’t play well to be honest. But I know that he’s a very good player, he’s got a great left foot, he can deliver balls anywhere he wants to and he’s a player that you try to do homework on but sometimes when players are that good it’s hard to do that; you just have to be on it on the day and be on him on the day, simple as that. They’ve got him, they’ve got other players throughout their team but I’m really happy for Brad to be playing in this game because it’s never nice for a player to miss out on a final.”