David Beckham, who now plays for Paris St-Germain’s football club, traveled to Beijing, China to accept his role as the country’s international football ambassador.
Beckham gave a speech, thanking China for selecting him to promote the sport within its country.
“I’m excited by the prospect of promoting the world’s greatest game to Chinese sports fans, as I’ve seen firsthand the growing interest in football there,” Beckham said in a speech, according to E! News.
“This is a wonderful sport that inspires people across the world and brings families together, so I’m relishing the opportunity of introducing more fans to the game.”
Beckham also took to the pitch, tucking his necktie into a cardigan so he could kick the ball around with eager middle school kids. According to Sky News, the four-day trip will involve promotion of the Chinese Super League, after reported “match-fixing” scandals.
Chinese football does need the boost that Beckham can provide and it can only be good, I think,” Chinese Correspondent for Goal Asia Pete Davis told Sky News. ”Him coming over is not going to create a massive improvement in terms of grassroots football … but Beckham can brand the league and bring the right kind of notoriety to it.”