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Pele warns 'pop star' Beckham

Pele insists David Beckham is more of a 'pop star' than a footballer and has urged the Los Angeles Galaxy superstar to focus totally on his sport if he is to succeed in the United States.

The former England captain wants to raise the profile of the game in the US after signing a five-year contract with the Galaxy, though his on-field impact has so far been limited by an ankle injury suffered on national team duty last month.

Brazilian legend Pele, arguably the finest footballer of all time who famously played for the New York Cosmos in the old North American Soccer League during the 1970s, insists Beckham must ignore the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and concentrate solely on his football.

He said: 'David Beckham is more of a pop star than a player. From my experience with New York Cosmos, I would advise him to be very well prepared for the matches.

'I know the level of play in the league. It is well balanced, and the spectators will demand a lot from him as their star player.

'But when there's no training or practice, then he can stroll through Hollywood.'

Beckham has so far made just one substitute appearance for Galaxy in a friendly against Chelsea on July 21. He faces a fitness test later today to determine whether he travels with the rest of the squad to Texas for a SuperLiga match against FC Dallas tomorrow night.