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Nov 27, 2010

Beckham says A-League needs expansion

Soccer superstar David Beckham says continued expansion is the key to the A-League's success.

In Australia to play the sell-out exhibition match against the Newcastle Jets, the LA Galaxy star says the A-League can learn from the example Major League Soccer (MLS) has set.

Starting with 10 teams in 1996, the MLS has almost doubled in the past 14 years, now comprising of 18 teams and scheduled to include 19 for the 2012 season.

The midfielder, who signed with the Galaxy in 2007, says the A-League needs more benefactors like Jets owner, mining and racing magnate Nathan Tinkler, to invest in the game.

"I just think it's important that the interest is always there," Beckham told Fox Sports on Sunday.

"Because if you look at the last three or four years in the MLS that's been done and there's always been new franchises that have come into the league

"The investors out there have taken that chance of coming into the MLS and taken a risk of opening franchises and bringing franchises into the league.

"That's the kind of thing that a new league needs."

On his second trip to Australia after playing against Sydney FC in front of 80,000 people three years ago, Beckham has reaffirmed his belief that Australia can host a World Cup.

With the decision to be made in Zurich in less than a week, the 35-year-old has backed Australia's bid while still remaining loyal to the country he now calls home, the US.

"Yeah I do (think Australia can host a World Cup)," Beckham said.

"I think any country that's passionate about the sport and passionate about hosting a big competition such as the World Cup can without doubt host it.

"But the US obviously are going for it as well and I think they're more than equipped as well to host a big competition like that.

"So it's going to be great whoever gets it.

"But we'll just wait and see."

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