Expatica news

Injured Beckham still set to join LA Galaxy in July

20 June 2007

LOS ANGELES  –  David Beckham is still expected to join the Los Angeles Galaxy in mid-July despite an ankle injury sustained in his final game with Real Madrid.

Beckham ended a four-year stint with the Spanish club Sunday, leaving in the second half of its 3-1 victory over Mallorca that clinched the Spanish League title on the final day of the season.

He originally injured his left ankle playing for England in a European Championship qualifier on June 6 and it flared up again Sunday.

“I felt it snap again,” Beckham said. “There was a lot of pain.”

Galaxy general manager Alexi Lalas said the team has been in contact with Beckham’s camp.

“We are confident he’s getting the treatment necessary for an injury that we believe is going to require some time off,” Lalas said. “Everything we’ve heard is he just needs some time, and luckily he has time.”

Because Beckham’s contract with Real Madrid runs through June 30, Lalas declined to comment in detail on Beckham’s treatment or give a timetable for his recovery. But Lalas said it won’t delay his mid-July arrival in Los Angeles.

“David Beckham is no longer a Real Madrid player. No medical tests have been done on his ankle.” Real Madrid spokeswoman Marta Santisteban said.

Beckham’s agent, Simon Oliveira, is on vacation this week and did not immediately return a telephone message.

The Galaxy is waiting for the expiration of Beckham’s Real Madrid contract to announce the date of his first game with the MLS team and unveil its complete marketing campaign.

Lalas also clarified comments published Tuesday in London’s The Guardian and The Mirror newspapers in which he called England’s Premier League “an interior product.”

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for English football, but I stand by my comments and my belief that Major League Soccer is as good, and in many cases, better than some of the perceived star leagues around the world,” Lalas said.

He finds overseas suggestions that Beckham is going into semi-retirement by joining MLS to be annoying.

“This is something, as American soccer players, we’ve had to deal with for years. It’s an ignorance fueled by an arrogance,” said Lalas, a former defender on the U.S. national team and veteran of two World Cups. “We understand it. We still have a long way to go. I make no apologies for supporting a league and a sport that I completely believe in.”

[Copyright AP with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news