Soccer superstar making first trip to Vancouver
Rafe Arnott/Metro Vancouver
English soccer superstar David Beckham said he is ready to play in tonight’s match against the Vancouver Whitecaps, despite recent injuries.
Speaking at the Pan Pacific Hotel yesterday morning, Beckham said he expects to be on the field for at least 45 minutes of the exhibition game.
"It’s important that you still perform … because I still want to win the game … whether it’s a friendly or whether it’s not," Beckham said.
He added his love for the game is so great he would play for free, which prompted an immediate reaction from L.A. Galaxy president Alexi Lalas.
"I wish you would have told me that a few months ago," Lalas said. He signed Beckham to a $250-million US, five-year deal.
When asked which Whitecaps player would get his jersey at the end of the game, Beckham joked it would go to "whoever smells the best." He then said he plans to visit a terminally ill girl while in Vancouver and give her the jersey instead.
Using his celebrity status for charity is important for him. "Just being able to be in a position to make someone’s life a little bit happier, even for a few moments, is all I can ask for."
Beckham said terminally ill children at a hospital in Spain stood on their doorways to watch him walk down a hallway. A nurse began to cry and when he asked her why, she said this was the first time in months the children had gotten up from their beds.
WITH FILES FROM RAFE ARNOTT