ABC News(NEW YORK) — David Beckham had an amazing career as a global soccer superstar and now he’s taking on another role, as team owner for the newest Major League Soccer franchise: Inter Miami.
The 44-year-old soccer player sat down with ABC News correspondent Amy Robach for Good Morning America to talk about his new role, which he said was seven years in the making.
“It’s been such a long journey,” Beckham said. “But one that I always — knew that was worth — worth the wait.”
Beckham, who retired from professional football in May 2013, has embedded soccer into every aspect of his life for years personally and professionally.
In 2005, he founded the David Beckham Academy football school, which operates in London and Los Angeles, and in 2007, joined the LA Galaxy, a soccer club in Carson, California, which gave the league a huge boost.
Then, in 2014, he announced the launch of the MLS team based in Miami, Florida, but had a few bumps in the road to get it started.
Over the years, Beckham’s impact on soccer in the U.S. has shaped the way the sport is perceived by many.
“It meant so much when David joined the league,” MLS Commissioner, Don Garber, said. “He basically said to the world, ‘This league is on the rise, and America could be a soccer nation.’ Now, to have one of the great players in the world go from the field to the boardroom — imagine how cool the board meetings will be. Ultimately, it’s gonna be a great development for what our league is gonna be in the years to come. It’s gonna be fantastic.”
Earlier this week, Beckham made a surprise visit to see Inter Miami and gushed over how proud he was of the team as its owner.
“They look great. We’re very excited about the squad that we’ve put together. You know, there’s a lot of — diversity in there with the players that we’ve brought in, and a lot of young players. Players with — you know, a little bit of experience, but also that rawness of coming into a new franchise, coming into a new league,” he explained. “As an owner, I couldn’t be prouder of the players so far.”
Family comes first for Beckham
But while Beckham is the new owner of the Florida team, the team that comes first in his life is the one he shares with his wife, Victoria, of nearly 21 years. The two, who have four kids together (Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper), have proven over the years the strength of their relationship and balance each other out perfectly amidst all the business ventures and projects they each take part in.
Beckham, who took a moment to talk about his love for his family, revealed that the secret to success, is his and his wife’s commitment to their family.
“Our kids are the most important things to us,” said Beckham. “Yes, we have businesses, and multiple businesses that we are committed to. But our one thing is our commitment to our children. And that will always be the same.”
Even though none of his kids have caught the soccer bug, the soccer star is most proud of how they’ve been able to pave their own way and find their own interests.
“Their passions have taken them in different directions. So the one thing that I’m hugely proud about with my kids is they all have their own passions for the things that they love,” he said. “My oldest son, who’s 21 in March, he’s passionate about photography. My middle son, Romeo, you know, he’s passionate about tennis. Cruz, he loves to sing, he loves to dance, he likes to write music.”
As for his youngest, Harper, who may be the one with the soccer genes in the family, Beckham said, “Harper’s Harper. Harper’s the boss. She could be the one that goes into the game.”
Beckham remembers the late Kobe Bryant
Beckham, who spent years playing in LA, reminisced about what he would do during his downtime, which mostly involved sitting courtside at the Staples Center and cheering on the late Kobe Bryant with the Los Angeles Lakers. Like so many, the news of Bryant’s death hit Beckham hard.
Beckham described, “I was very lucky to live in L.A. at a time where — you know, the Lakers were winning everything. And I was lucky enough to sit courtside and just watch Kobe play, you know?”
He went on to say that the main thing that he loved about Kobe was that he was a family man first, too.
“The biggest thing that I admired about Kobe was not just his tenacious way of playing the game, but his love for his family, his love for his girls. And it’s all he ever talked about. You know, he talked about Vanessa, he talked about, you know, his kids, and how passionate they were, and that for me, hit me the hardest,” Beckham said.
Earlier this week, Beckham shared a photo of Kobe and his daughter, Gianna on Instagram and wrote, “Daddy’s love.”
With Inter Miami making its home debut against his former team, the LA Galaxy, next month, Beckham said that his family would be the main people he’ll be looking for first on the sidelines, who will be cheering him on.
He’s also hoping to inspire his new team and get rid of any intimidation that they may feel with him as their new owner.
“The one thing that I’d like to bring to this club is the experience that I’ve had from the great clubs that I’ve played over the years. So I hope they’re inspired,” he said.
And while Beckham isn’t on the field as much anymore, he mentioned that he hasn’t completely shut the door on a comeback.
“I’m 44 now. I think I’m a little bit past playing at the highest level. But who knows? You never know. Anything’s possible,” he said.
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