Far more Americans have heard of David Beckham than any other soccer player and half say sport’s popularity is increasing in the United States
Last week, English soccer player David Beckham announced his retirement. Beckham has become of soccer’s most iconic figures during his iconic career known both for his accomplishments on the field and his celebrity outside of it.
New YouGov research shows that Beckham is, by far, the most famous soccer player among Americans. 73% of Americans had heard of Beckham, compared with only 21% who had heard of the Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo and 11% who had heard of the Argentinian Lionel Messi, two players who are considered some of the best in the world.
Beckham, who has played in America for the Los Angeles Galaxy from 2007 to 2012, has also thought to have contributed to popularizing soccer in America. Our results corroborate this, showing a significant portion of Americans saying that soccer’s popularity in the United State has increased compared with 10 years ago.
Nearly half (47%) of Americans said that professional soccer has increased in popularity since 10 years ago, compared with 31% who say that it is just as popular as before.
Beckham played his final game for the French team Paris Saint-Germain on May 18. He is expected to move back to London and there is speculation he may become an owner of a new MLS soccer team, possibly in Miami.
Complete results can be found here.