David Beckham says MLS pitches were like ‘CONCRETE’ when he first joined LA Galaxy… but insists he saw the ‘opportunities’ for soccer to flourish despite criticism over his move to America

David Beckham recalled how football pitches in the US were ‘like concrete’ as he discussed the huge progress made in Major League Soccer since his arrival in 2007.

Beckham’s move from Real Madrid to California sent shockwaves through global football due to the disappointing output of the league’s players and the largely poor standard of facilities.

The former England captain’s initial struggles adapting to life in MLS were laid bare in the recent hit Netflix documentary about his career.

He recalled in one match – while watching from the substitutes’ bench – how the skill level of the players on display made him question whether he had made the right decision to move to America.

When he finally got onto the field, he was thrown away by the American football lines still painted on the turf. At one point he could no longer tell whether the ball had gone out of play or not.

David Beckham remembers how football fields were ‘like concrete’ when he moved to MLS

In his Netflix series, Beckham recalled how the rules of American football would confuse him

In an interview with The Times of LondonBeckham has opened up about some of the things that immediately shocked him in MLS, but reveals he was always adamant he made the right decision.

“Lines on the field, plastic fields, which looked like concrete at the time,” he says.

Despite concerns about the level of football infrastructure in the US, Beckham insists he saw an ‘opportunity’ for the sport to grow

‘When I first moved, especially from a club like Real Madrid at the age of 31, people were very critical.

‘It wasn’t professional like it is now. But I saw the opportunities.’

Beckham is believed to have earned an estimated $160 million during his five years in LA, making him the third highest-paid sportsman in the world at the time, behind only Tiger Woods and Michael Schumacher.

By the time he left in 2012, Beckham had played 115 MLS games for the Galaxy, scoring 18 goals and winning two MLS championships.

Beckham’s confidence that the MLS would grow and grow was evidenced by the clause he included in his contract that gave him the option to own a new MLS team for just $25 million.

He could launch a team in the city of his choice, as long as it wasn’t New York.

Fast forward to today and he is now a co-owner of Inter Miami. Last season he managed to sign Lionel Messi in a remarkable way and they won their first ever trophy: the Leagues Cup.

Messi’s recruitment by Inter Miami is even more remarkable when you consider that a few weeks ago he was officially crowned the best player in the world by winning his eighth Ballon d’Or.

Beckham is now co-owner of Inter Miami and recently presented Lionel Messi with the Ballon d’Or

Beckham stood on the podium in Paris to present the Argentinian with his award.

“It was quite surreal to stand on that stage as the owner of the team he plays for, and to give him his eighth Ballon d’Or,” he added.

“When you take the best player in the world, the one thing he stands for on and off the court, someone who has won everything, a superstar, to take America by storm, it’s not just a gift to the Miami fans, it is a gift to America.

‘Because you bring someone like that and he takes the sport to another level.’