David Beckham said Wednesday that he aims to recruit some of "the best football players in the world" for his new Major League Soccer franchise in Miami.
Following months of rumors, the 38-year-old former England captain confirmed his intention to acquire an MLS franchise for the Magic City.
The deal that brought Beckham to the LA Galaxy in 2007 after his glory years with Manchester United and Real Madrid included an option for him to acquire an MLS franchise for the bargain price of $25 million.
"I know there was a team here 10 years ago that unfortunately folded (the Fusion), but I know that Miami is ready for football again," Beckham said Wednesday at a downtown press conference. "I wanted to create a team that would be very personal to me."
"We're planning to bring a team that will be a global team," he said. "We want to bring some of the best football players in the world, great players, to this team. Players are already interested in coming to Miami."
Beckham acknowledged that he still needs to line up more investors and secure a location for a stadium.
Accompanied at the press conference by Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and MLS Commissioner Don Garber, the retired midfielder said local authorities "promised" him a downtown location.
Beckham already has two high-profile partners in the venture: "American Idol" creator Simon Fuller and Brightstar Corp. CEO Marcelo Claure.
Miami Heat superstar LeBron James has expressed interest in becoming a shareholder.
The athlete-turned-owner was emphatic Wednesday that he and his partners will not seek public funding for construction of the stadium. EFE