David Beckham

IMPACT: ALTHOUGH DAVID BECKHAM MADE HIS NAME AS A SUPERSTAR STRIKER IN EUROPE, where he played for Manchester United and then Real Madrid from 1992 to 2007, he chose the United States as his home when his soccer career entered its twilight years. He played for Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy from 2007 to 2012 as part of a bid to bring global stars to popularize the U.S. league. He also negotiated a smart contract that gave him preferential status if he ever wanted to own an MLS franchise. Now Beckham heads Miami Beckham United, the company that is launching an MLS team in Miami. He played a major role in improving the visibility of MLS during the 2000s, and the Miami team could be the final element needed to bring the league into mainstream popularity. In March Beckham announced the purchase of land for the team’s new stadium in Miami; international phenomenon Cristiano Ronaldo is reportedly considering playing for the team.
Photo by Matthew Ashton/Getty Images
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