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'A Dream Come True' For Beckham

David Beckham finally pulled on the famous white jersey of Real Madrid at his long-awaited introduction Wednesday as millions of adoring fans watched worldwide.

With TV cameras broadcasting the ceremony live, team president Florentino Perez unveiled his fourth multi-million dollar acquisition in as many years and hailed the soccer superstar as one of the best English soccer players of all time.

"David, welcome to the league of dreams," Perez told the former Manchester United star.

The 28-year-old Beckham opened a brief speech by thanking team officials in Spanish — "gracias", he said with a smile, then added: "Football is everything to me and joining Real Madrid is a dream come true."

He closed with a time-honored team cheer, "Hala Madrid!"

Beckham did not answer questions but later told Real Madrid TV that he never hesitated in making his selection.

"This was the only team I wanted to come to," Beckham said. "Real Madrid excited me. They are a great team, a massive club and this was the only team that really excited me."

At the introduction, Beckham wore a powder blue suit, open white shirt and a pair of earrings. His wife Victoria, the former Posh in the Spice Girls pop group, sat in the front row.

More than 500 journalists from 25 countries were on hand to cover the event at Real Madrid's basketball arena, the Raimundo Saporta Pavilion.

The photogenic midfielder and England captain received a white Real Madrid jersey — bearing his name and the number 23 — from honorary president Alfredo di Stefano, a Real Madrid star from the 1950s.

The ceremony unfolded on a stage featuring a giant photo of Beckham's face, his last name and that of his new employer.

Beckham, who transferred last week from Manchester United for $40 million, is the latest in a string of expensive players to join the nine-time European Cup champions and 29-time winner of the Spanish league.

He will play alongside other Perez acquisitions such as Portugal's Luis Figo, France's Zinedine Zidane and Brazil's Ronaldo.

"You can probably compare them to the Harlem Globetrotters. They play amazing football, exciting football but effective football as well," Beckham told the station.

"But what really interested me was the atmosphere among the players, the way they get along. That interests me a lot and I look forward to being part of that. I'm not coming here to be the main star, I'm coming here to enjoy playing with these great players and being in this great city."

Perez noted that Beckham is a cultural icon and trendsetter with devoted followers all over the world.

"That may be true," Perez said. "But what is really true is that Real Madrid signed David Beckham because he is a great soccer player, a great professional whose dedication and spirit of sacrifice, whose team spirit and simplicity are recognized by all who have dealt with him.

"For us he is one of the best English soccer players of all times. For that reason and none other Beckham is here with us today."

Later on, Beckham kicked a ball around on a practice field in front of hundreds of cheering fans.

Showing off his skill, Beckham kicked a ball over a fence and into the crowd. Fans chanted "guapo, guapo," meaning handsome, and the star's name.

At another point, a shirtless boy ran up to Beckham and greeted him. Beckham was quickly supplied with a No. 23 jersey and put it on the youth.

A group of teenage girls at the field carried two banners adorned with photos of the star that said "Beckham Handsome. You are the best" and "Beckham, welcome to Spain."

Beckham will make his Madrid debut when the team plays four friendlies in the Far East in late July and early August.