Real Madrid President Once Claimed He Would Sell the Stadium for David Beckham for a Crazy Influx the MLS Legend Brought

Published 01/19/2023, 9:45 AM EST

Florentino Perez is arguably the best president of Real Madrid, known for his ‘Galactico’ signings. It was his first stint as president from 2000 to 2006 that marked the start of superstar signings. Luis Figo from arch-rivals Barcelona, Zinedine Zidane from Juventus, Ronaldo Nazario from Inter, and David Beckham from Manchester United were the names brought by Perez during that period.  

Perez took over the reins of Los Blancos when the club was facing financial difficulties. Of all the Galactico signings, one signing made a long-lasting impact on Real Madrid. It was in 2003 when he brought one of the most famous soccer stars then, David Beckham, from Manchester United. It proved to be a masterstroke not only financially but also in increasing the popularity of the club. 

David Beckham proved to be the game-changer signing

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When Perez took over for the first time as a President, Real Madrid was struggling to keep up its financials. There were questions about the existence of the club back then. Perez was thinking ahead as soccer was evolving more towards the marketing side. Hence, he opted for the Galactico approach.

Although all his Galacticos brought popularity and advertising income to the club, it was Beckham’s signing that changed the game. It doubled the revenues from the endorsements for the club from the first year of Perez’s term. Perez once went on to say he would sell Santiago Bernabeu Stadium before Beckham. But what made the club achieve such great numbers?

Beckham was at the peak of his popularity when this century started. Almost every single individual was aware of the name of an English superstar. Such was his popularity that Beckham was considered an enormous brand himself. His signing meant any club would reach every part of the world and benefit from his endorsements and jersey sales.

But it was the time when players used to have almost 100% of the image rights. Then how did Real Madrid benefit from Beckham’s signing?

The answer was simple. Perez, with Galactico signings, brought in a clause of shared image rights in the contracts. It meant around 50% of income from personal endorsements of players will go to the club. Beckham, who was earning less salary than Zidane and Ronaldo Nazario, was the highest earner because of his endorsements. The change was visible in the revenues achieved by the club commercially, and an important reason was the English superstar. 

The after-effect of Beckham leaving Real Madrid

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Beckham, who donned no. 23 jersey taking inspiration from NBA great Michael Jordan, was at the club for four seasons. He was not only helping the club on the pitch but with balance sheets, too. However, his move to LA Galaxy in 2007 affected Real Madrid financially. 

It cost the club over 30 million USD in revenue. Real Madrid had to go for an emergency loan in 2008 under Roman Calderon’s rein. Although the club was said to be sound financially, the effect of Beckham’s departure was visible. It was these reasons that made Perez act fast and bring the Manchester United legend to the Bernabeu despite United and Barcelona being close to completing a deal for the player. 

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Watch this story: Serena Williams’ Husband Alexis Ohanian Brings In FIFA World Cup Numbers to Declare Women’s Soccer Popularity in US Shouldn’t Surprise Anyone

Let us know your thoughts on the impact the former LA Galaxy legend had on Real Madrid and soccer overall commercially. 

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Nikhil Nibe

254 articles

Nikhil is a Soccer writer at EssentiallySports. He is a pharmaceutics graduate holding a PG degree in management with marketing as a specialization. A sales professional since 2011, he decided to change the course of his career into a sports writer to follow his passion for Soccer.

Edited By: Sreeda U M

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