Beckham unveiled as Galaxy player

Before David Beckham can convert America into a soccer nation, he'll need to learn the lingo.

updated: July 15, 2007 17:47 IST
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Carson, California:

Before David Beckham can convert America into a soccer nation, he'll need to learn the lingo.

The sports superstar and pop culture "it" guy was officially introduced at his home stadium on Friday amid a cannon of confetti and a roar of cheers.

Beckham quickly recognised his move to the Los Angeles Galaxy will take some adjusting. Even simple things, as in what to call his sport.

After saying his family came first, he said the second most important thing "is the foot, I mean the soccer."

"I'll get used to that at some point. I'm sorry," Beckham said.

His brief slip drew some scattered boos, which turned into laughs.

An estimated 5,000 soccer fans - and new Beckham fans - sat in the stands as "Becks" was introduced and held up his new No 23 jersey. Wife Victoria did her own posing before the presentation.

"It's nice to see so many fans," Beckham said from the stage set up on the soccer field.

The 32-year-old midfielder signed a five-year contract with the Galaxy in January that will pay him $32.5 million in salary.

He joined the Major League Soccer team from Real Madrid, where he showed he still can "bend it" on free kicks. Coming on strong late in the season, Beckham helped Real Madrid win the Spanish league title last month.

Beckham's play also was impressive enough for him to regain a spot on England's national team, which he formerly captained.

Soccer's growth

Saying he wanted to help soccer grow in the United States, Beckham said, "I'm going to be part of that for the next five years and maybe a few years beyond that."

Although Beckham has insisted it wasn't the lure of Hollywood that landed him in Los Angeles, he and his wife - Posh Spice - and their three children arrived in Tinseltown on Thursday night with enough star qualities to move them near the top of the glitterati.

They include Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes among their best friends, and Victoria will be featured in a one-hour network television special this month titled "Victoria Beckham: Coming to America."

Still, Beckham has said his focus would be on the soccer pitch and not on Hollywood glitz and their home in Beverly Hills.

Beckham's first game for the Galaxy will be an exhibition against a familiar opponent, Chelsea FC of the English Premier League, on July 21 in Carson.