June 17 marked the 10th anniversary of one of the most famous signings ever made by Real Madrid in their long and illustrious history – that of David Beckham. On that day in 2003 Los Blancos officially announced the signing of the English international from Manchester United.
Real paid the British club 25 million euros for the midfielder, plus another possible 10 million depending on the objectives reached, according to reports. “I know I would have regretted my whole life if I had turned down the chance to play for a great club like this”, Beckham confessed as soon as his arrival was made official.
The Englishman’s signing was a blow for Barcelona, since Joan Laporta had won the presidential elections after having announced an agreement with United to sign Beckham, among other promises.
However, Laporta was not able to finally convince Beckham, who didn’t fancy the idea of not playing the Champions League, since Barca had finished sixth in La Liga. “I would like to thank the interest that other great clubs, such as Barcelona, have shown. However, at this point in my career I need to play in the Champions League and I could not let the opportunity to play in such a big club pass me by”, the Englishman stated.
In spite of that, Beckham’s stay at Madrid was not as successful as he would have wished. Beckham, who has been awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to football, left the club in 2007 having won only that year’s league title and the 2003 Supercopa. He played a total 155 games for Los Blancos, scoring 20 goals and providing 93 assists.
His official debut with Real took place on August 24 2003, at Son Moix Stadium in Mallorca’s 2-1 victory over Los Merengues in the Supercopa. Beckham played 54 minutes before making way for Claude Makelele.
Beckham’s first goal as a Madridista was in the second leg of that tournament, just three days later, in Los Blancos 3-0 home victory over the Bermellones.