Countdown to David Beckham's U.S. Arrival Sparks Debate on the Future of Futbol and Football

NFL Star Reggie Bush Challenges Beckham to Maintain First Rights to

'Football' Name

Jun 25, 2007, 01:00 ET from adidas

    LOS ANGELES, June 25 /PRNewswire/ -- This summer's hottest premiere
 will take place on the soccer field when international star David Beckham
 makes his debut with the Los Angeles Galaxy in July. As Beckham's arrival
 in the U.S. nears, the debate on futbol and football begins with New
 Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush swapping the pigskin for a soccer
 ball. Bush traveled to Madrid to show off some of his fancy footwork and
 teach Beckham a few things about sports culture in the U.S. as an official
 welcome to the American sports scene.
     "Since I signed with the Galaxy, you know every time I do an interview,
 I'm trying to get myself to say soccer because I've always said football,"
 Beckham told Bush during their meeting in Madrid where the two world-class
 athletes traded sports for a day.
     "And when you think about our sport we call football, it would seem
 like [soccer] would be the sport you actually call football because you're
 kicking it with your foot, so it makes sense," said Bush. "We call
 [American football] football, but we actually throw it a lot more than we
 kick it."
     Beckham and Bush showed off their athletic skills and challenged each
 other to tackle their respective sports. Beckham attempted a
 record-breaking field goal with Bush as his placeholder and Bush attempted
 to "Bend it like Beckham" as he practiced free kicks. Never before seen
 footage of this meeting will be available for viewing at
     To build momentum for Beckham's U.S. arrival, adidas brought these two
 star athletes together to embody the world's most popular and entertaining
 sports through two of its biggest stars.
     "adidas is proud to support individuals like David Beckham and Reggie
 Bush who display the world-class athleticism and charisma representative of
 our athletes. Futbol meets Football is an extension of the Impossible is
 Nothing brand mantra -- unmatchable skill and talent that isn't afraid to
 face something new and unfamiliar," said Stephen Pierpoint, vice president,
 adidas America. "We believe sports fans in America will adopt this same
 mentality and escalate their passion for soccer in the same way they follow
     Major League Soccer in America is poised for tremendous growth. More
 than 140 million Americans tuned in for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany,
 compared to the 90 million Americans who watched the 2007 NFL Super Bowl.
 As the most recognizable soccer player in the world enters the U.S. playing
 field, the stage is set to catapult Major League Soccer to an unprecedented
 level of professionalism, skill and fan frenzy. Whether soccer can garner
 the attention of sports fans in the States long term may depend on how it
 can compete with America's most popular sport, football.
     Beckham said, "I've never been to an [American football] game. I want
 to. Because every time I've seen the Super Bowl or something like that,
 it's so passionate. Everyone -- the fans, the players -- seems so
 passionate about it."
     "It's a big deal," Bush said. "What soccer is to Europe, I think that's
 what American football is to America."
     "Without a doubt," Beckham said. "I'm definitely going to get myself to
 some games."
     During Beckham and Bush's meeting in Madrid, Beckham strapped on a
 Saints helmet and uniform with his signature number 23 and performed
 running drills, ran pass routes with Bush defending him and kicked
 long-range field goals and punts. Bush, meanwhile, laced up his soccer
 boots and shin pads and defended short-range penalty kicks from Beckham
 playing goal keeper.
     Although each athlete looked momentarily uncomfortable in their new
 sports, they were able to quickly grasp the nuances, such as Beckham
 spiking the football after a touchdown catch and Bush playing a spirited
 game of keepy uppy with his knees and feet. Later, the two athletes
 exchanged jerseys and discussed what Beckham should expect after arriving
 in the U.S., from fan reaction to media attention.
     Beckham is scheduled to begin his season with the Galaxy this July,
 while Bush arrives at training camp for his second year with the Saints
 shortly after. Before reporting, Bush has promised to attend Beckham's
 first Galaxy match in Los Angeles.
     adidas is a global designer, developer and marketer of athletic
 footwear, apparel and accessories with the mission to be the leading sports
 brand in the world. Brand adidas is part of the adidas Group, a corporation
 that includes brands such as Reebok, TaylorMade and Rockport.
     For more information, visit or

SOURCE adidas