SYDNEY - Australian football may be forever in the debt of David Beckham after 'Becksmania' enticed 80000 fans to watch an international club friendly.
Los Angeles Galaxy's 5-3 loss to Sydney FC was immaterial. It was the prospect of watching the international football phenomenon strut his stuff for the first time in Australia that attracted the fans in their droves to Sydney's Olympic stadium on Tuesday.
Only Australia's World Cup final eliminators have drawn more home fans than the 80295 at the exhibition game.
Charismatic Beckham didn't disappoint his legion of admirers, stroking home a signature "Bend it like Beckham" free kick in the first half and even earning himself a yellow card for a rough tackle.
Football Federation Australia chief executive Ben Buckley declared it as the night football, jostling for media exposure with the rugby codes and Australian Rules, came of age in this country.
"The true value in this event is the legacy to the game." - Sapa-AFP