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The Beckham Experiment
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New or Used: $25.95
In 2007, David Beckham, the golden boy of football, shocked the international sports world when he signed a five-year contract with an American team, the Los Angeles Galaxy. Under the direction of his manager, Simon Fuller, the mastermind behind "American Idol" and the "Spice Girls", Beckham was ready for a monumental challenge and a risky adventure-ready, as Fuller put it, to earn his stripes Stateside. Could he pull off what no player had ever accomplished (including Pele in the 1970s) and transform football into one of the most popular spectator sports in America? It was a bold experiment: failure meant a team, a league, a sport, and Beckham himself might miss their chance to hit primetime in the U.S. With unprecedented access to the Galaxy and one-on-one interviews with Beckham, veteran "Sports Illustrated" writer Grant Wahl focuses on the inner circle of the experiment: Beckham, Galaxy leading scorer Landon Donovan, Simon Fuller, controversial former coach Ruud Gullit, outspoken former Galaxy president Alexi Lalas, and Mrs. Victoria 'Posh Spice' Beckham. Wahl takes readers behind the scenes, on the road with the team and inside the locker room, to reveal just what happened on and off the field when the most renowned player in the world left the glamour of European football to play in a country that has yet to fully embrace the sport. We find out what his teammates really think of their superstar captain, who was calling the shots behind the scenes, how Beckham's management conducted a shadow takeover of the Galaxy organisation, and if the team plans to embrace him - or not - when he returns from AC Milan for the 2009 season. "The Beckham Experiment" is a no-holds-barred account of ego clashes and epic winless streaks, rivalries and resentments, big gambles and great expectations, cultural and class collisions, and ultimately the volatile mix of celebrity and professional sports. As Beckham embarks on his third season with the Galaxy, the question remains: even for a player the caliber of David Beckham, are some goals out of reach?
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About the Author

In twelve years at Sports Illustrated, senior writer GRANT WAHL has written thirty-one cover stories and more than two hundred articles while covering five World Cups, three Olympics, and twelve NCAA basketball tournaments. Wahl has won four Magazine Story of the Year awards, given by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

Reviews

"Far more than merely a soccer book, "The Beckham Experiment" brilliantly explores-and exposes-that odd place where sports and celebrity collide. David Beckham's American odyssey is often too bizarre to believe, and Grant Wahl captures it all with uncommon depth, precision and insight. Forget Beckham-Wahl is the Pele of soccer writers. A brilliant book." --Jeff Pearlman, author of "Boys Will Be Boys""""In "The Beckham Experiment," Grant Wahl has done a wonderful job of explaining to soccer fans--and, perhaps just as importantly to non-soccer fans--the worldwide phenomenon that is David Beckham. The reporting and the writing are all there and the story is a terrific read, whether one thinks of Beckham as one of the world's great athletes or as Posh Spice's husband." --John Feinstein, author of "Change-Up: Mystery at The World Series""It's not behind-the-scenes access: It's what you do with it. Grant Wahl knows his soccer, but mostly, he knows a great story, at turns funny, sad, bizarre and, yeah, occasionally a little juicy. If the best thing that came out of Beckham coming to America was this book, I'd say it was a fair trade."--Will Leitch, author of "God Save The Fan," contributing editor "New York" magazine, founder Deadspin.com "David Beckham is more than a gifted player. He is a multinational conglomerate. And, in Grant Wahl's extraordinary telling, his sojourn through Los Angeles makes for a gripping tale about the business of sports and the growth pangs of American soccer." --Franklin Foer, author of "How Soccer Explains the World" "This is a riveting, highly entertaining book about the world's most famous athlete, and his attempt to conquer America with his skill, charm and amazing good looks, none of which have any effect on my wife, at least according to her."--Dave Barry, Humor writer and winner of 38 World Cups "Forget the underwear ads. Forget the movie. Want to know about the world's most famous,

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