Soccer - Beckham increases ownership stake in MLS club Inter Miami

FILE PHOTO: Jul 31, 2021; Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA; Inter Miami CF owner David Beckham watches warm ups prior to the match between the Inter Miami CF and the CF Montreal at DRV PNK Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Former England captain David Beckham has increased his ownership stake in Inter Miami, the Major League Soccer (MLS) club said on Friday.

Inter Miami, who made their MLS debut last year, said in a news release that co-owners Beckham and brothers Jorge and Jose Mas finalised the buyout of Marcelo Claure and Masayoshi Son.

"We are immensely proud of the progress we've made over the past year and a half in Major League Soccer, and we are grateful to have had Marcelo and Masayoshi with us for the first part of our journey," said 46-year-old Beckham.

"I am more committed than ever to working with my partners and friends Jorge and Jose to build a lasting legacy, developing youth players from our Academy, competing for championships regularly, and most importantly, rooting ourselves into the DNA of our community and South Florida."

Beckham, the former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder, had the right to a discounted MLS franchise as part of the deal which brought him to the league as a player in 2007 when he joined the Los Angeles Galaxy.

His arrival in Los Angeles put MLS on the map and brought a level of legitimacy and visibility that otherwise may have taken the North American league decades to reach.

Inter Miami made the MLS Cup Playoffs last year and, after a poor start to the current campaign, have found form and are one point outside an Eastern Conference post-season spot with a game in hand.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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