The Beckham Experiment: How the World's Most Famous Athlete Tried to Conquer America Spiral-Bound | June 1, 2010

Grant Wahl

★★★☆☆+ from 1,001 to 10,000 ratings

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The book that rocked the sports world with its explosive revelations of a bitter feud between David Beckham and American star Landon Donovan—and how they overcame their differences to lead the L.A. Galaxy to the championship final, now updated with a new Afterword

“Far more than merely a soccer book, The Beckham Experiment brilliantly explores—and exposes—that odd place where sports and celebrity collide.”—Jeff Pearlman, author of Boys Will Be Boys
In 2007, David Beckham shocked the international sports world when he signed a five-year contract with an American team, the Los Angeles Galaxy. Could he pull off what no player had ever accomplished and transform soccer into one of the most popular spectator sports in America? It was a bold experiment: failure meant a team, a league, a sport, and Beckham himself might miss their chance to hit primetime in the U.S.

With unprecedented access to the Galaxy and one-on-one interviews with Beckham, veteran Sports Illustrated writer Grant Wahl provides behind-the-scenes accounts, on the road with the team and inside the locker room, to reveal just what happened on and off the field when the most renowned player in the world left the glamour of European soccer to play in a country that has yet to fully embrace the sport
With The Beckham Experiment, Wahl presents a vivid account of ego clashes and epic winless streaks, rivalries and resentments, big gambles and great expectations, cultural and class collisions, and ultimately the volatile mix of celebrity and professional sports that was the Beckham experiment.
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Original Binding: Trade Paperback
Pages: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 0307408590
Item Weight: 0.6 lbs
Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8.0 inches
Customer Reviews: 3 out of 5 stars 1,001 to 10,000 ratings
“Compelling . . . a detailed, carefully reported account.”Los Angeles Times

The Beckham Experiment succeeds as an engaging peek into the weird worlds of Beckhamania and U.S. soccer. Grant Wahl, the country’s best writer on the sport, may even convince all those who played soccer as kids to remember why they loved the game.”—Frank Deford, author of The Entitled: A Tale of Modern Baseball

“In The Beckham Experiment, Grant Wahl has done a wonderful job of explaining to soccer fans—and, perhaps just as importantly to non-soccer fans—the worldwide phenomenon that is David Beckham. The reporting and the writing are all there and the story is a terrific read, whether one thinks of Beckham as one of the world’s great athletes or as Posh Spice’s husband.”—John Feinstein, author of Change-Up: Mystery at The World Series

“It’s not behind-the-scenes access: It’s what you do with it. Grant Wahl knows his soccer, but mostly, he knows a great story, at turns funny, sad, bizarre and, yeah, occasionally a little juicy. If the best thing that came out of Beckham coming to America was this book, I’d say it was a fair trade.”—Will Leitch, author of God Save The Fan, contributing editor New York magazine, founder Deadspin

“David Beckham is more than a gifted player. He is a multinational conglomerate. And, in Grant Wahl’s extraordinary telling, his sojourn through Los Angeles makes for a gripping tale about the business of sports and the growth pangs of American soccer.”—Franklin Foer, author of How Soccer Explains the Worl
“The ‘Becks’ cultists will devour this, but so will those of us who simply like a damn good sports book.”—L. Jon Wertheim, author of Strokes of Genius: Federer, Nadal, and the Greatest Match Ever Played
“Sharply reported . . . In the wake of Mr. Wahl’s highly readable book, both Messrs. Beckham and Donovan have reputations on the line.”The Wall Street Journal
Grant Wahl was one of the world’s leading soccer journalists. He was the owner and creator of the Fútbol with Grant Wahl website and podcast, did television work for CBS Sports, and produced documentary films. His book The Beckham Experiment was the first soccer book to make the New York Times bestseller list. Wahl spent twenty-five years at Sports Illustrated, where he wrote more than three dozen cover stories. He covered thirteen World Cups (eight men’s, five women’s). Grant Wahl died in 2022.