MADRID — David Beckham, the most famous soccer player in the world, signed Tuesday to play for Real Madrid for the next four seasons.
The deal looks set to revolutionize the value of Real Madrid soccer club’s TV rights. Real Madrid can also hike merchandising deals in Asia, where Beckham is a cult figure.
The former Manchester United player and captain of the English national soccer side will cost Real Madrid 25 million euros ($29.3 million) plus a further $11.7 million depending on results.
Real Madrid paid more than twice that for Zinedine Zidane in 2001 — $91.6 million — but the economic travails of European terrestrial and pay TV operators has sent soccer transfer sums plunging.