David Beckham at IMCF Training

David Beckham, Inter Miami Owner and President of Soccer Operations, made his English Premier League debut on this date, April 2, 25 years ago. At the time, he was a 19-year-old midfielder yet to make his mark. Since then, Beckham has compiled an extensive list of accomplishments including: six Premier League titles, two FA Cups, one UEFA Champions League title, one LaLiga title, one Ligue 1 title, two MLS Cup titles and two Supporters’ Shield titles. On an individual level, he was named to the UEFA Team of the Year twice, England Player of the Year once and UEFA Club Footballer of the Year once.

Now, after several years of pushing to make another dream a reality, Beckham is the co-owner of Inter Miami. The ripples of his past have affected the Club in more ways than one, as his influence on the players extends beyond his role as an owner.

“I have many fond memories. I followed him a lot as a player, I liked the way he played. What caught my eye the most was the way he struck the ball,” said 20-year-old Young Designated Player Matías Pellegrini. “I also remember when I was a kid, I used him a lot in video games. I loved the way he played in video games too, so that's why I followed him so much throughout his career. Now having him as one of the owners of the Club where I play is incredible, and the humility he displays and what he gives to all the players is impressive and I am very grateful.”

“David Beckham had a huge impact on my career from when I was a little kid. I used to watch him and try to emulate his free kicks and the ability that he possessed on the ball,” added rookie forward Robbie Robinson. “My favorite memory I have of watching him play would be when he scored the free kick from like 30 yards out against Greece. He just bent it in. It showed the confidence he had and his quality with the ball.”

That particular moment was a popular choice among Inter Miami players for their favorite memory of watching Beckham play. Both David Norman Jr. and Luis Argudo mentioned the moment as a special one despite not having been old enough to remember the moment from when it happened.

“I was probably too young for this, but my best memory of watching him play was seeing a bunch of highlights of his free kick goal against Greece,” said Argudo. “I think that was probably my favorite goal by him because of the significance of it. You could just see how much it meant to him, and obviously the country and the team and the fans. It was just crazy.” 

"I think I was too young to actually watch the goal from halfway or the free kick against Greece live. Of course, I've seen all those now,” said Norman, who first met Beckham when he was 12 years old. “I think my favorite memory of watching him live was his debut for the LA Galaxy and Major League Soccer. It was such a big deal to have a player of his quality and a global superstar like himself come to North America to play. It was his debut, I believe in 2007, which is probably my earliest memory of watching him play.” 

Beckham’s iconic style both on and off the pitch also shaped the way the players developed their skills and even the way they look.

“David Beckham had a great impact on me both on and off the field as a kid,” added Norman. “Not only did I want to emulate the free kicks that he would produce on the pitch, but I also remember changing my hairstyle to match his before the World Cup.”

“The impact David had on my soccer career was pretty big. He was just one of those superstars that was everywhere. He was the face of his teams,” said Argudo. “For me, it was the way he handled himself on and off the field that really attracted me to him. I used to wear adidas Predators like him. I always tried to learn how to bend it like him. He was one of those guys that was always going to be influential on the field and off the field. And he was someone that was respected by his peers and his colleagues.” 

“He was just one of those guys that every time you touched the ball, you were like, ‘okay, he's not going to mess up.’ And if he did, he was the first person to try to go and recover the ball. I think that's something that I do now, and you could say I got it from him.”