Beckham seeks Cruise's advice on decision
LOS ANGELES -- Former England captain David Beckham sought the advice of his actor friend Tom Cruise before agreeing to his big-money move from Real Madrid to the Los Angeles Galaxy.
"I was on the phone to him [Cruise] for about an hour last night and an hour the night before," Beckham told reporters on Friday.
"Obviously I asked him for his advice because he is a very wise man and a very good friend of mine. It's going to be a big help for us to have friends when we arrive in L.A.," Beckham said.
Beckham, who announced on Thursday that he would be joining Major League Soccer side the Galaxy in August, appeared via satellite from Madrid at a Los Angeles news conference.
"I am coming not to be the superstar but to be part of the team, work hard and hopefully win things," said Beckham, whose five-year deal is the biggest in world sport.
"It is about the football. I am coming to make a difference. I would like to take [the sport] to another level."
The former Manchester United player said soccer had huge potential in the United States, particularly with children, despite its second-class status by comparison with basketball, baseball, football, NASCAR and hockey.
"I am not saying my coming to the States is going to make soccer the biggest sport in America because that is going to be very difficult to achieve," said Beckham. "But I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't believe I could make a difference and take soccer to a different level. This is something that I believe in."
Beckham was dropped by England after the 2006 World Cup and has spent much of this season on Real's bench.
He and his wife, former Spice Girl Victoria, have become two of the most recognizable and marketable figures in sport and celebrity culture.
The Galaxy said the club had sold more than 1,000 season tickets on Thursday in the heady first hours after news broke of Beckham's signing.
Beckham told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Friday the package was "an amazing amount of money."
But he added that "this move for me is not about the money, it's about hopefully making a difference in the U.S. with soccer."
Timothy Leiweke, president of the entertainment giant AEG, which owns the Galaxy, said people were mistaken if they thought Beckham's signing was about show business.
"David is coming here to be a soccer player," said Leiweke. "His first priority is going to be trying to make the Galaxy a better team.
"This was not done to go out and make movies or records or make him and Victoria the king and queen of the entertainment industry in Hollywood," Leiweke said.