After Beckham US Soccer Hires Brazil’s Ronaldo

The US's modest soccer world is abuzz with rumors that the hiring of English player David Beckham for US$ 250 million by the Los Angeles Galaxy will be followed soon by the acquisition of a Beckham's team mate at the Real Madrid, Brazilian Ronaldo.

Ronaldo, who in recent past used to be called the Phenomenon, still has the title of all-time top scorer in World Cups.

Rafael Ramos Villagrana, a sports columnist for the Los Angeles Spanish-language daily La Opinión says that the New York soccer team Red Bulls will be signing up Ronaldo Nazário de Lima next week.

His contract, however, will be less than half that of Beckham, but still millionaire: US$ 119 million for five years. If confirmed this would be a relief for both the striker and Real Madrid, which has already made clear that it wants the player out.

For Ramos, the only thing that might delay the transfer of the Brazilian footballer from Spain to the United States would be the contract he signed with Nike, since the players from the US's MLS (Major League Soccer) wear Adidas.

The MLS has been preparing for some time now for the hiring of big international soccer stars. In November they introduced what is now known as Beckham rule, which says that clubs will pay the extra cost for players who receive more than the maximum salary of US$ 400,000 per season. Previously, the MLS leadership was responsible for the whole salaries of its member teams.

The Brazilian striker, who was laid-off by Real Madrid's coach Fabio Capello, is said to be also considering a US$ 26 million a year offer to play at the Saudi Arabia's Al-Ittihad, the same club where Portuguese star Luiz Figo should be presenting himself starting in August.

In the 80s, the New York Cosmos brought soccer legend Pelé out of retirement to play at the side of German great Franz Beckenbauer.  The measure, however, wasn't enough to make soccer a popular sport in the US.

These are other times, however, say analysts. Today, thousands of children, many of them Latinos have soccer flowing in their blood and belong to thriving soccer teams in high school. All that football needs is a little kick from a Beckham and a Ronaldo. Unless both are taking the money and starting early retirement.


  • Show Comments (14)

  • USA Footyfan

    “Maurice Edu (center) with his family at the 2007 MLS SuperDraft. “

  • USA Footyfan

    $1 billion put into MLS Youth Academies are the future
    By the way, MLB baseball is popular in the Carrribbean and in Asia (Japan especially), NBA/Basketball is highly popular in Europe and in fact most of the better technical players in both leagues come from Europe or in the case of baseball, the Carribbean (Domincan Republic, Cuba, etc) or Japan.

    NBA is considering starting a European Division which would be in addition to the American divisions meaning NBA teams in Spain and Italy and the UK would compete each season with ones from US cities.

    NHL is not very popular in the US. MLS was on TV and got higher ratings last year than NHL. Its likely that MLS football will replace NHL hockey as the 4th sport in 2007 now.

    NFL “Football” will always be #1 and i have no idea why because i find it boring to watch but then again a lot of people say the same abou MLS Football

    The Beautiful Game of Football for many americans is the ONLY sport they watch and this group is growing which is why MLS is growing. 50 years ago no one heard of NBA or NHL 25 years ago NHL was where MLS is now, no one cared about hockey, which was seen as a Canadian and European sport then Wayne Gretzky went to Los Angeles and Mario Leimeux went to Pittsburgh and NHL blew up huge (well as big as it could get).

    David Beckham and Ronaldo and Edgar Davids and others will help make MLS football at least the #4 sport and maybe even bigger than #3 (Basketball) in 20 years time.)

    With the youth academies MLS clubs have set up more youth will have the chance to go professional.

    Here is a video of the last MLS SuperDraft, this shows the next generation is already starting:

  • USA Footyfan

    No one in US Football or MLS wants to change the rules. MLS is all about comforming to FIFA rules and standards wherever possible. FIFA like MLS because unlike the league before it it wants to be a PART of the world and play by THE SAME rules rather than change them.

    More football is good for evryone. Clint Dempsey just signed to Fulham in the Premiership for $4 million dollars so now even poor kids are going from dirt fields to the highest level. He is a good rapper too!

  • USA Footyfan

    30 million people PLAY FOOTBALL in the USA
    30 Million people play the game in the USA. That’s more than the entire populations of some ‘great footballing nations’.

    Just as China will someday be the economic superpower that surpasses the USA so will USA be the footballing power to surpass France, or maybe Argentina, or Spain or maybe England…..

    It will happen in due time.

  • USA Footyfan

    Football IS important in the US and getting more important every year

    Just watch this video:

    No one seriously here is talking about changing the game. If anything the opposite occured. When MLS first started it had a few rules that were different than the world standard but there was such an outcry from fans of the sport here that they had to comply with the normal FIFA rules. MLS will NEVER have “4 quarters and commercials”. They are selling the space on the front of the shirt just like every other league in the world so that they don’t have to slow the game down for advertising.

    Need I remind you this league has been around for 11 years. It didn’t just pop up last year.

    Football WILL be the 4th and 3rd sport in the US eventually. FIFA is counting on it.

  • Ian

    As a supporter of a premiership team who regularly goes to see my team play I think I feel qualified in saying mls is a joke. The level of play is about League 2 / Confrence. The way it is structured it has been impossible for any players with any quality to be attracted to that league and any homegrown tallent is signed by a real team from another country.

    Players like Beckham will not raise the standard of play in that league, they will be dragged down to it’s level (exactly what happened in the mls chelsea game). It’s a shame that players like this will be brought somewhere where they will not be appreciated and are effectivley sacrifcing any hope of a national team place.

  • hamed

    he is the best footballer in the world, he can play anywhere in the world not only europe

  • desbandhu kc

    ronaldo is best of the best football star in this world.

  • Eagle

    but US is the biggest money so…
    I think it`s incredible that NHL, NBA, MBL, NFL, all of them sports that aren`t popular worldwide can be so popular in the US. They have so much money that if football becomes popular it`ll make the sport even better. Of course that if they start wanting to change the rules it`ll suck, but then it`s a risk that`s worth taking…

  • Fidel

    Football is better without the USA
    One of the things I like about world football, which is the largest and most popular global sport, is the abscence of the USA. It will be a shame if the likes of Beckham and Ronaldo speed up the process the game growing in the US. How long before 2 halfs become 4 quarters and other game slowing devices to increase maxium advertising time are introduced.

    The longer football remains the 3rd or 4th sport in the US the better for the game. 😛

  • guest

    I Agree
    I completely agree with you Ian, but I think both players also have to face reality. With so many young good players to compete against and with both national coaches on a mission to get these players ready for 2010, I think their chances of returning to their national teams is being reduced. I say both players should take the money and chart their course to retirement.

  • Wizard

    MLS No No!
    “is much better 4 ronaldo to move to the mls than to move to saudi arabia where futbol is not important”

    Football isn’t that important in American though either, is it? Moving to MLS will be the end of Beckham as a player (he will have no chance now of regaining his England national side place). Ronaldo still has lots to offer, like Beckham, so both would be better off playing in a real league.

  • Jorge R9

    much better
    is much better 4 ronaldo to move to the mls than to move to saudi arabia where futbol is not important

  • cheap web hosting

    cheap web hosting
    is ronaldo really comming over?

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