David Beckham’s dream of launching his own football club in the US is finally realised on Sunday when Inter Miami play their first game.
It has taken six years and Beckham admitted there had been “bumps in the road” as they struggled to find a site for the stadium.
But the former England star said he wants to create the best team in America – and has even talked about one day signing up the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
“I want to be able to create a legacy that my children can turn around in 20 years and say, ‘My dad built this club’,” said Beckham.
The team play away at Los Angeles FC later and join Major League Soccer along with Nashville, as the league expands to 26 teams.
“There were moments where I looked and I thought this might not happen,” admitted Beckham.
“The biggest lesson is I’m more persistent than I thought I was and I’m more stubborn than my wife thinks I am.”
More from David Beckham
David Beckham still has the train ticket Victoria wrote her number on 23 years ago
Victoria and David Beckham: Twenty years of Posh and Becks
Beckham banned from driving for using phone in his Bentley
David Beckham ‘speaks nine languages’ in malaria campaign’s new video
David Beckham could face court after ‘using mobile while driving’
David Beckham follows ex-Manchester United teammates with 10% Salford City stake
He added: “I’m obviously not from Miami. I’m from east London. So me going to Miami, trying to buy a piece of land, talk to the politicians, wasn’t actually getting us anywhere funnily enough.”
Beckham’s star quality will ensure the team get attention and the 44-year-old is president of soccer operations and co-owner with Miami businessman Jorge Mas.
However, they have struggled to get approval for a new stadium in Miami so will initially be based 30 miles north of Florida’s biggest city in a new 18,000-capacity stadium in Fort Lauderdale.
Beckham and Mas hope to soon get the green light for a Miami stadium, which they hope will be up and running in a few years.
Inter Miami’s first home game is against Beckham’s former club, LA Galaxy, on 14 March.