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'Little Becks' kicks off 4-day China tour (2)

(Global Times)

10:03, March 21, 2013

The Oriental Sports Daily reported in late February that the player would be paid 2 million euros ($2.6 million) for his role as ambassador.

Liu Xiaoxin, chief editor of the Guangzhou-based newspaper Soccer News, told the Global Times that bringing Beckham to China could help improve public opinion of the sport, which is at an all-time low even though some professional football teams remain extremely popular and a number of foreign stars have signed contracts with Chinese clubs worth millions of dollars.

"The public is questioning whether China really needs a British national who is near the end of his career as its football ambassador," Liu said.

Xiao Huanyu, dean of the School of Sports and Humanities at the Shanghai University of Sport, told the Global Times that Beckham still has something to offer. "Beckham has helped popularize football in the United Kingdom, and if we can learn from his experience then his mission will be a success," Xiao added.

"The game has decayed. People are disappointed by the game, and few people accept it," Liu said, adding that the government should play a greater role in regulating the sport.

Beckham is now with Paris St-Germain, after having played with Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy.

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