David Beckham's goal? The end of Major League Soccer's salary cap. In due time.
The English superstar spoke with BEIN Sports' Christian Vieri about the club he's bringing to Miami, and when the former Italian star suggested that “we need to take” the cap away, Beckham was in agreement.
“That's what we'll work for,” Beckham said. “We'll work towards that, because that's one of the things that obviously stops a lot of players from coming over here [from abroad], where I think actually this league and certain cities in this country will attract the big-name players.”
Beckham wants some of those players on the field when his Miami team kicks off in 2017 -- that's the planned start-up -- but he's not mentioning names, just that “we want to bring in big players. We have to, we have to.”
Beckham signed with the LA Galaxy in 2007, forcing the league to forge new roster rules and allow Designated Players -- top players able to make salaries well beyond the cap while just a portion of their pay counts against the total. It helped the league grow significantly during his six seasons in LA, with stars such as Thierry Henry, Robbie Keane and Cuauhtemoc Blanco following Beckham into MLS.
The salary cap for 2014 is estimated at about $3.1 million. Beckham made $6.5 million per season, including guaranteed bonuses, during his first five years in MLS and $4 million in 2012. He departed the Galaxy following their 2012 MLS Cup title win and played half a year at Paris Saint-Germain before retiring.
Vieri asked Beckham, now 38, if he misses the game.
“At first I didn't, but then I had a moment about seven months after I finished playing,” Beckham responded. “It had, like, a two-week spell where I really missed it, and I contemplated coming back. But then I was busy again -- I was busy again out here [in Miami], I was busy with the kids -- and it just went away.”
Beckham also talked about his plans in Miami during the eight-minute conversation:
• He chose Miami because he “thought it was one of those cities that deserves and needs a team here. I've been here many times before, and I know the culture, I know the vibrancy of the city, I know the people. I just felt it was one of those places where it needed a team and I knew I could create its own identity because there is not a team here. I knew that I could bring in a team where I could choose the name, choose the colors, build a new stadium.”
• He hopes to build an “iconic” stadium at the Port of Miami, opposite American Airlines Arena, home to the NBA's Miami Heat. “I want people around the world to see Miami, what's good about it, and there's so much that is good about it,” he said. “Having a stadium there on the water, with the skyline -- doesn't get any better than that.”
• He wants to hire a coach that knows MLS “but also has a great reputation in the game, and a strong reputation, because I think we need that. When you do want to entice some of the best players in the world, they need to have a manager that's a name.”