David Beckham Calls Statue Outside Galaxy Stadium 'Dream Come True' - NBC Southern California
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David Beckham Calls Statue Outside Galaxy Stadium 'Dream Come True'

The LA Galaxy paid tribute to a global soccer icon on Saturday, when they unveiled a statue in honor of David Beckham inside the newly built Legends Plaza outside Dignity Health Sports Park (formerly StubHub Center).

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    Galaxy Unveil Statue for David Beckham

    The L.A. Galaxy unveil a statue of former professional soccer player David Beckham outside of Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, CA. Beckham talks about the statue and the special day for him. (Published Saturday, March 2, 2019)

    "Becks" has been immortalized.

    The Los Angeles Galaxy paid tribute to a global soccer icon on Saturday, when they unveiled a statue in honor of David Beckham inside the newly built Legends Plaza outside Dignity Health Sports Park (formerly StubHub Center). 

    Beckham was born and raised in London's East End, where he regularly played football in the streets in Ridgeway Park. He grew up a loyal supporter of Manchester United, and eventually signed with the team as a trainee in July of 1991.

    He made his first appearance with the club's first team in September 1994, and remained with the team until 2003. Beckham then joined Real Madrid for five seasons before transferring to the LA Galaxy in 2007.

    "If you had turned to me when I first joined the Galaxy and said 'one day you'll have a statue in front of the stadium' I would have just laughed," said Beckham. "It's a very special day."

    In his six seasons with the Galaxy (two on loan to AC Milan), Beckham helped hoist two MLS Cups.

    "I'm truly grateful to the Galaxy for putting me in this status," continued Beckham. "To get something like this, I feel truly honored."

    Beckham said he went from a boy with a dream to play for Manchester United, to a man with a dream to one day get a statue, and thanked the city of Los Angeles for making his dreams come true.

    "When I first moved to LA, people told me: 'LA is a place where dreams come true.' Well, LA, today a dream came true," said Beckham to the crowd and fans in attendance during the ceremony, which took place just a couple hours before the Galaxy's home opener against the Chicago Fire. "I know how important getting a statue is. It really means so much to get one here, in a place I call home. I feel very special today."

    Numerous former players and teammates of Beckham were on hand for the ceremony including Cobi Jones, Mike Magee, Mauricio Cienfuegos, and Robbie Keane.

    "I hope I see you all here next year for my statue," joked Keane. 

    Later at halftime, Beckham joined Jones, Cienfuegos, and the late Dougie Hamilton, as he was inducted into the LA Galaxy's Ring of Honor.

    During both ceremonies, the Galaxy played a tribute video of Becks, featuring guest appearances by Snoop Dogg, Landon Donovan, Bruce Arena, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Beckham's children, and the great Kobe Bryant.

    "When my kids came on the screen, that kind of sent me over the edge. It's an emotional day," said Beckham who was joined by his parents, and his famous wife, Victoria Beckham, a member of the band the Spice Girls. "Unfortunately, my kids couldn't be here because school is more important, but at some point the kids will be here to see what Dad's created and I'm sure they'll be very proud of that."

    The statue, which was designed and created by Julie and Omri Amrany, the owners of the Fine Arts Studio of Rotblatt Amrany and Timeless Creations, Inc. They also designed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's statue in Star Plaza outside Staples Center.

    The statue depicting Beckham's likeness is of the great right-winger taking a free kick, his trademark move that spawned the film "Bend it Like Beckham" in 2002. 

    "I'm pretty happy with it," said Beckham after viewing the statue for the first time. "I wish I had that size legs when I was playing, to be honest, I might have had a little bit more power."

    The Galaxy went on to defeat the Fire, 2-1, in the match, with Ibrahimovic scoring his first goal of the 2019 MLS season.

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