David Beckham, who now plays in France after six years in MLS, is taking on the challenge of boosting the image of China's troubled soccer industry. He will serve as a global ambassador to help promote the Chinese game both at home and abroad as it combats a serious image problem caused by recent game-fixing scandals and the premature departure of two high-profile foreign imports, Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka.
"I am honored to have been asked to play such an important role at this special time in Chinese football history," said 37-year-old Beckham. "I'm excited by the prospect of promoting the world's greatest game to Chinese sports fans as I've seen firsthand the growing interest in football there.
"This is a wonderful sport that inspires people across the world and brings families together, so I'm relishing the opportunity of introducing more fans to the game."
Beckham's appointment coincides with the 20th anniversary of professional football in China, which is home to 1.3 billion people.