David Beckham

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Inter Miami refutes report claiming Beckham selling MLS club shares

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After all the delays, obstacles, and promise, David Beckham may not wind up overseeing a minute of Inter Miami CF.

Yes, really.

A report from Cristian Rivas of AS says the Manchester United legend is selling his shares of his expansion club, which is set to begin play in 2020 (from US.AS.com).

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Inter Miami CF has denied the report to several outlets, including intrepid MLS reporter Paul Tenorio.

Beckham’s MLS contract allowed him the option of starting a club at the end of his playing career, and he opted for South Beach.

But the English midfielder watched as stadium sites, lawsuits, and myriad issues got in the way of his project, which led to questions of “Will this ever happen?” and multiple public announcements.

It wasn’t all negative, as speculators salivated over the megastars expected to play for “Beckham United.”

According to the report, current IMCF partners Jorge and Jose Mas Santos will purchase Beckham’s shares. Nutty. If true, this report would be a face palm for the executives of Major League Soccer, who backed Becks at every turn (though maybe they knew, too).

And if it happens, maybe this was always Beckham’s plan. It would’ve been foolish for the entrepreneur to turn down the rights to his own team, and staying behind the brand this long certainly aided in the group’s growth.

But how will players and fans react in a market which has certainly had its problems growing, and has been rivaled by a number of upstart teams?

Perhaps it’s all foolhardly speculation, and a reporter was given bad information. Let’s hope so, for the good of Miami having a successful team.

Report: Inter Miami makes huge offer to Luis Suarez

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A Catalan radio station has David Beckham swinging for the fences with one of his first Designated Player signings at Inter Miami.

Barcelona striker Luis Suarez has been offered a rich 4-year deal by the former Real Madrid and Manchester United playmaker, whose club is set to debut in 2020.

[ RECAP: France 2-3 U.S. U-20s ]

Suarez will turn 33 during next season, prior to the start of Major League Soccer’s campaign. He has scored 25 or more goals in each of his last seven seasons, the last five spent with Barcelona after a 30- and 31-goal campaigns with Liverpool.

Seeing what Zlatan Ibrahimovic is doing with the LA Galaxy shows that aging elite strikers can still terrorize MLS (and many other leagues). The Uruguayan has been durable, too, making 40-plus appearances in each of his seasons with Barca.

Beckham’s Inter Miami plans to sign players this summer

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) The expansion Major League Soccer team owned in part by David Beckham plans to start signing players this summer and will select its first coach later this year.

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Inter Miami, which says it will begin play in March 2020 and that an 18,000-seat stadium in Fort Lauderdale will be ready by then, has narrowed its coaching search to three finalists. Managing owner Jorge Mas declined to reveal names, and only suggested the hire would be done by September or October.

“They have international experience,” Mas said.

Beckham was not present Wednesday for what was billed as a demolition ceremony on the site of Lockhart Stadium, where Miami’s first MLS team played from 1998 through 2001. Team and local political officials even hit a “button” as if to trigger a detonation, though the only thing coming down Wednesday was a boarded-up ticket booth that was ripped apart by a backhoe.

[ MORE: Tearful Pochettino hails Spurs “heroes” after another UCL comeback ]

Lockhart will be demolished later, and Mas said parts of the stadium that will be put in its place are already being built off-site.

“We’ll be getting foundations done in July, we’ll be erecting the steel in October and hopefully it’ll be finished in February,” Mas said.

The team won the right last year to negotiate with the city of Miami toward building a soccer and business complex near Miami International Airport, on the site of what’s now a golf course. Mas said he expects legal progress toward a deal there to occur in the next “60 to 90 days” and again insisted that the plan is for the team to play in Fort Lauderdale for only its first two seasons.

Fort Lauderdale says Beckham can demolish Lockhart Stadium, build anew

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) David Beckham’s planned Major League Soccer stadium in South Florida is another step closer to reality.

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The Fort Lauderdale City Commission voted Tuesday night to enter into an interim agreement with Beckham’s group, one that will allow the MLS club to demolish Lockhart Stadium as a precursor to building a stadium of its own on that plot of land.

Mayor Dean Trantalis suggested to the commission that the agreement should come with financial assurances that the Beckham group will not simply demolish the existing stadium and then walk away from the project without building something in its place. Other commissioners argued that given the extremely tight timeline – Beckham’s group wants to begin play there in less than a year – the project must be permitted to start as soon as possible.

The vote was unanimous, 5-0. Beckham’s group will have 180 days to complete the demolition.

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Beckham’s group – his team is called Inter Miami – plans to have a stadium in place on the Lockhart site in time to begin an inaugural MLS season in March 2020. Beckham has unsuccessfully tried for years to find a place to put a stadium in Miami, which is why his group announced plans last month to play its first two seasons in Fort Lauderdale.

Beckham’s team also plans to use the Lockhart site as its training center, a home for its team in the lower-tier United Soccer League and its academy programs.

The current Lockhart Stadium opened in 1959 and was the home of more than a half-dozen soccer teams, including the North American Soccer League’s Fort Lauderdale Strikers from 1977-83 and MLS’s Miami Fusion from its launch in 1998 until the team was eliminated by the league after the 2001 season.

Beckham dreams of bringing Ronaldo, Messi to MLS, Miami

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David Beckham is dreaming big for his Major League Soccer franchise in Miami.

Really big.

Hot on the heels of announcing that he hopes Inter Miami CF will play at a revamped Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale for their first two seasons in MLS, Becks has been chatting about potential players he’d like to bring to MIA.

Here is what Beckham had to say via our partners at Sky Sports:

“Everyone has their wish list, everyone does, but if you look at the way Leo and Cristiano are still playing, even at what you might think is the later stage of their careers, I don’t see it ending for them,” Beckham said. “They’re playing at such a high level that it’s hard to see them leaving the clubs they are at, but we will see. You never know what can happen in football.”

Now, we all knew this kind of talk was coming. Beckham added Inter Miami are looking closely at players to sign and are speeding things up with just 12 months until their first MLS game.

Beckham’s name has a certain pull and if he is the co-owner of a franchise it is one for reason: to make it as successful and glamorous as possible. The fact he owns a team in Miami which will enter MLS in 2020 amplifies the glitz and glamour.

Would Ronaldo and/or Messi need a lot of convincing to head to Miami for the final few years of their careers? Probs not.

But it seems like Ronaldo would be a lot more attainable than Messi. At least right now, and especially when you factor in that his contract with Juventus is up in the summer of 2022.

That should line up perfectly with the timeframe for Miami’s proposed soccer-specific stadium deal in Freedom Park being ready for Ronaldo to call it home.

Because, let’s be honest, can you see one of these guys playing in front of 18,000 fans at a temporary home at Lockhart Stadium? Yeah, not going to happen.

Ronaldo is 34. Messi is 31. Who’s to say they both won’t play for Miami three years apart? Ronaldo has already said he wants to play until he is 40, and it is highly likely he will. As for Messi, he’s been a one-club man and it is unclear whether or not he will see much point in not playing for Barcelona his entire career.

With the Man United connection, Ronaldo heading to Miami to play for Beckham makes so much sense on so many levels.