However, the proceedings on the field of play took a back seat to the Beckham spectacle, and despite the presence of worldwide football stars such as Andriy Shevchenko , Didier Drogba , Michael Ballack , and Frank Lampard , the US television cameras were firmly focused on Beckham who spent most of the match on the bench. Baseball, basketball, American football, they've been around. I'm coming there to play football The speculation about his new contract in Madrid was thus put to an end and the following day Beckham's official press conference was held in conjunction with the MLS SuperDraft. I just wanted to shake everybody's hand and be out on the pitch for an hour.
United in front of the sellout crowd of 46, nearly three times the average D. Due to security concerns, it was the first time the team flew on a charter for a road match, rather than flying commercial MLS normally forbids charter flights for away matches, claiming they provide competitive advantage, but in this case they made an exception due to the frenzy created around Beckham and resulting security issues. That would be difficult to achieve. It was suggested in the press that his wife was a bad influence on him, and that it might be in United's interests to sell him,  but his manager publicly backed him and he stayed at the club. New Beginnings documentary produced by 19 Entertainment before the friendly match versus Chelsea , which was expected to be Beckham's American debut. During the SuperLiga final against Pachuca, Beckham injured his right knee, with an MRI scan revealing that he had sprained his medial collateral ligament and would be out for six weeks. I'm coming there to make a difference. I was on cloud nine. The Football Association asked Beckham for an explanation of his actions and he admitted that he had "made a mistake" and apologised. The speculation about his new contract in Madrid was thus put to an end and the following day Beckham's official press conference was held in conjunction with the MLS SuperDraft. Both of the goals came from corners taken by Beckham. The income from his new contract, and his many endorsement deals, made him the highest-paid player in the world at the time. He later criticised Beckham for this in his autobiography, claiming he had not been "fair to his teammates"  Beckham had a good season for his club, though, and helped United to win the Premier League by a record margin. When experienced players Paul Ince , Mark Hughes , and Andrei Kanchelskis left the club after the end of the —95 season, his decision to let youth team players replace them instead of buying star players from other clubs United had been linked with moves for players including Darren Anderton , Marc Overmars and Roberto Baggio , but no major signings were made that summer , drew a great deal of criticism. However, the proceedings on the field of play took a back seat to the Beckham spectacle, and despite the presence of worldwide football stars such as Andriy Shevchenko , Didier Drogba , Michael Ballack , and Frank Lampard , the US television cameras were firmly focused on Beckham who spent most of the match on the bench. With United leading 2—0, Beckham noticed that Wimbledon's goalkeeper Neil Sullivan was standing a long way out of his goal, and hit a shot from the halfway line — 60 yards out — that floated over the goalkeeper and into the net. Another provision was the opt-out clause after the season, meaning that should he decide so, Beckham was free to leave the club after completing year three of his five-year contract. These goals gave the team a 2—0 victory, and a place in the North American SuperLiga final versus Pachuca on 29 August. On 17 August the first day of the Premier League season , Beckham became something of a household name when he scored a spectacular goal in a match against Wimbledon. The ball seemed to be in the air for hours and it all went quiet. The announcement made top news all across the globe. I'm coming there to be part of the team, to work hard and to hopefully win things. United won their final 11 league games of the season, with Beckham scoring five goals during this run, with his last goal coming from a swerving shot from the edge of the penalty area in their final home game against Tottenham Hotspur. He also made 81 Champions league appearances, scoring 15 goals. He played four times for United in the league that season, as they finished second behind Blackburn Rovers , missing out on a third successive Premier League title by a single point. The next match on the road trip was at New England Revolution and Beckham decided to sit it out, fearing further aggravating his ankle injury on the Gillette Stadium 's artificial surface. Beckham trained with Arsenal from 4 January for three weeks until he returned to the Galaxy for pre-season training.
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