David Beckham talks with goalkeeper Luis Robles (left), who has been made Inter Miami club captain
David Beckham has told BBC Sport his “perseverance, stubbornness and bloody-mindedness” are why he always believed his club Inter Miami would play in Major League Soccer.
The dream, which began in 2014, will come to fruition on Sunday when his Miami franchise travel to Los Angeles FC for their first MLS match.
The former England captain expressed his delight in reaching this point and highlighted the importance of having the full backing of his family.
“Victoria [his wife] has seen me go to Miami, be happy and then come back a little bit deflated,” said the 44-year-old, who co-owns the franchise with construction magnates Jorge and Jose Mas, Bolivian billionaire Marcelo Claure and Korean-Japanese entrepreneur Masayoshi Son.
Beckham speaks of his ‘stubbornness’ as Inter Miami make MLS debut
“It’s been a rollercoaster ride during the past few years. I’ve had a huge amount of support from the family, as you can imagine.
“They’re just so emotional about the whole thing. We’re the same as owners – to see what we’ve gone through and to see what has happened… good, bad. Victoria has witnessed that with me – she’s so proud and so excited for us.
“The fact this is now happening, the fact I look at our stadium… the white lines are down and the goals are up. That for me is an exciting moment.”
‘I’m not nervous at all’
The saga began prior to 2014, when Beckham exercised an option in the deal which brought him to LA Galaxy in 2007 to own a franchise.
Since then he has endured issues over stadium location and planning and has had to remain patient for the all-important green light from the MLS.
“My wife talks about my stubbornness and I tend to agree with her on this point,” the ex-Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder added.
“Over the past seven years I could have walked away, do another city or something else. I knew deep down this was the right thing.
Have we got aspirations of bringing big-name players? Of course we do
“Perseverance is something I talk to the kids about – working hard. This says it all about what’s happened in the past few years. The perseverance, stubbornness and just bloody-mindedness knowing that this was the right thing to do.”
Inter Miami will play in the former Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale – 30 miles from Miami – before the club expects to relocate to the proposed Miami Freedom Park in 2022.
The first home fixture of this season will be, fittingly, against his former side LA Galaxy on 14 March.
“Excitement more than anything,” he responded when asked how he felt before the opening match.
“Someone asked me ‘how nervous are you?’ and actually I’m not nervous at all. One thing I learnt as a player is if you prepare yourself well one week before then when the game comes at the weekend you’re ready.”
‘Emotions will be high’
Despite reports linking Inter Miami with big-name players like Paris St-Germain striker Edinson Cavani, the current squad does not feature any household names.
“Have we got aspirations of bringing big-name players? Of course we do,” Beckham added.
“If we have the opportunity to do that then great, but we’re more than happy with the roster we have. We have young players and a couple of experienced players. But going forward, who knows?”
In the meantime, Beckham is content to finally see his club up and running.
“The fact we are a few days away from starting the season is very exciting,” he said.
“But I think the moment where we kick a ball in our stadium on 14 March – that would be when the emotions will be running very high. We are very excited.”