MLS commish says quotes from him were fabricated
Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber said Monday that quotes attributed to him in Spanish daily Marca saying that David Beckham's lawyers were trying to negotiate an early release from Real Madrid were fabricated.
"David Beckham remains a member of the Real Madrid club until his contract expires June 30. Unless otherwise informed, we are looking forward to welcoming David this summer following the end of his contract with Real Madrid," Garber said.
"There have been many recent reports from the news media that have attributed incorrect quotes from my office, including fabricated quotes that were attributed directly to me earlier today. I am out of the country in Mexico and have not spoken with any journalists since the afternoon of Jan. 13. We hope that journalists will be respectful and professional with covering this story."
Beckham announced last week he would join the Galaxy in August after his contract with Madrid expires in June. The five-year U.S. deal reportedly is worth $250 million in salary and endorsements.
A Beckham representative said the player still intends to fulfill his Madrid contract.
"Until the club sits down with him to address the situation, David will continue to train with Real Madrid until the end of the season with his usual professionalism," spokesman Simon Oliveira told The Associated Press.
Victoria Beckham, the player's pop star wife, arrived in Los Angeles on Saturday, presumably to look at homes and schools for the couple's children.
Real Madrid coach Fabio Capello said earlier that day that Beckham would no longer play in games now that he has committed to another club and would only train with teammates. That leaves Beckham with the prospect of no competitive soccer for six months.
On Sunday, Capello criticized Beckham for signing with the Galaxy before informing Real Madrid.
"He signed his contract before he spoke with Madrid and for me that doesn't seem right," Capello said after Madrid's 1-0 win over Real Zaragoza, a game Beckham watched from a spectator box along with his mother, Sandra, at Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
"If a player has a contract [with another club] it isn't right that you continue to treat him as just another player," he added.
Oliveira said Beckham disclosed his plans to club officials in a meeting before signing with the MLS club.
"We've done everything above board," Oliveira said. "We made our intentions clear to Real Madrid that David wasn't staying at the club before meeting with the Galaxy."
Beckham joined Madrid from Manchester United in 2003. The team hasn't won a single major trophy since, and the former England captain was mainly a substitute this season.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.