David Beckham Is Back
interview by Sari Anne Tuschman
photographs by Anthony Mandler
LEFT: Trench coat, Burberry London ($1,595). burberry.com. Shirt, Ralph Lauren Black Label ($275). 444 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills; ralphlauren.com. Silk tie, Dolce & Gabbana ($150). 312 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills; dolcegabbana.com. RIGHT: see above.
What are you looking forward to this season with the Galaxy?
DB: I always get excited before the season starts because you go all the way through pre-season and don’t have too many games, so when the competitive games start, it’s great. I think it’s been frustrating the past few years because we’ve come so close and not won anything. This year we’ve brought in a couple of experienced players and a couple of young players that look exciting. Hopefully, it’s going to be our year. We need to work hard, and if we work hard, then we’ve got a chance.
Of the new Galaxy players, who are you most psyched to be playing with?
DB: Juan Pablo Angel. He has experience playing in Europe, and he’s played in the MLS for quite a few years with New York. He’s great for my game, because, obviously, my game is assists. I’ve already put so many balls onto his head in training, and he’s scoring, so if we can [bring] that into games, it’ll be great for us.
With the Galaxy’s new season and a little girl on the way, there’s a lot going on in your life right now. How are you processing it all?
DB: I love my career, but my family will always come first. We’re happy to be having another baby. Our three boys are so excited; they’ve been asking for a baby for a while now, so they were happy when we brought the news to them. We’re lucky enough to have three beautiful boys, three healthy boys. To have another one on the way, we feel very privileged. It’s going to be a big year.
Obviously, it was a disappointment you weren’t able to play in the 2010 FIFA World Cup due to your injury. How hard was that on you?
DB: It was disappointing because I’d spent almost two years away from my family when I went on loan to A.C. Milan to try and keep myself involved in playing in the World Cup. To get the injury like I did after being away from my family for so many months, it was difficult. I’m so passionate and patriotic about playing for my country, and that’s one of the things I’ve always tried to get across, because there are certain people, certain fans of the Galaxy who have criticized me for going on loan, going away from the Galaxy, missing certain games in certain parts of the season. The reason I do that is because I’m passionate about playing for my country. But I’ve always looked at things like that—things that happen in my career and in my life—[with the view that] everything happens for a reason. There’s a reason I didn’t go to that World Cup; there’s a reason I got that injury. You don’t always see it straight away, but I think after a couple of years it kind of stands out that there were reasons.
Do you have another World Cup in you?
DB: It would be nice. You know, it’s in 2014; I’ll be 39 by then. I’m getting on. I would love to play another World Cup—it’d be amazing—but that’s not my goal at the moment. My goal is to stay as healthy as I can, to stay as fit as I can, to win things, to be successful—and then, who knows? Over the years, I’ve taken each game as it comes; it’s important for me to do that.
You moved to LA five years ago and were charged with making soccer big in the US. Did that feel like a huge responsibility?
DB: It did. There was a certain responsibility with me moving to MLS and moving to America and having the weight of soccer in this country on my shoulders. But it didn’t feel like it was a pressure situation. It felt like a challenge more than anything, and I think we’ve been very successful in many ways. As a team we’ve not, because we’ve not won a championship for a few years, but I think the game as a whole has definitely grown [in terms of] the franchises that are coming into the league and the [size] of the crowds that come to watch the games. I’ve loved every moment I’ve spent here. It’s been frustrating at times because I love to be successful and I love to win. But I came here with a positive attitude, and I think I’ve enjoyed that and kept that attitude all the way through. I’m determined to make it happen. But I always said from day one it wasn’t going to happen over one, two, three or four years, because the soccer leagues in Europe have been around for a hundred years. For this league—which has existed for  years now—there’s still time for it to grow.
Styling by Jeanne Yang for The Wall Group
Makeup by Sarah Lucero
Hair by Ken Paves of Ken Paves Salon