Bend it like Beckham

New York Giants rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was once seriously considering a career in the other type of football, but now with the World Cup in full swing the former LSU star is excited for some heated soccer action.

With the World Cup just underway and capturing the attention of nations all over the Earth, it's still clear which version of football the United State prefers. However, for at least one member of the New York Giants, soccer is something to get seriously excited about.

"I'm definitely excited to watch it," said rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. when asked about the World Cup, which began on Thursday and will conclude on July 13.

Beckham was a talented young soccer star before he went on to play football during high school in New Orleans and later at LSU. Perhaps if things worked out differently, he'd be suiting up for Team USA in Brazil instead of with the Giants in East Rutherford.

"My coach actually tried to get me on the national (soccer) team when I was like 13, 14 but to do the soccer thing you really have to go overseas and stuff like that and it was a decision at a young age that I really didn't want to leave my family," explained Beckham. "It was kind of one of those things that I had to let it go even though I still think about it to this day. Soccer is my first love."

Just like with football, Beckham used his incredibly speed and agility to beat opponents on the soccer pitch.

"I was just faster than everybody else," he said, "I had the moves and everything. I was one of those kids that was very aggressive."

With a last name identical to that of famous English soccer star David Beckham, it's easy to assume that the former Manchester United and Real Madrid player would be Odell's favorite player. It turns out, however, that he's more of a Christiano Ronaldo guy.

"I really like Real Madrid, Christiano Ronaldo, just respect greatness. Him and Messi from Barcelona."

During the World Cup, Ronaldo will be competing for Portugal and Messi for Argentina.

While soccer is without a question the world's most popular sport, it still has a ways to go to surpass more entrenched games here in the United States. Even a soccer fan like Beckham is more devoted to a certain championship series right now.

"I'm more focused on the NBA Finals right now," said Beckham on Thursday. "Hopefully the Heat pull it off tonight."

With the Miami Heat falling into a 3-1 hole against the San Antonio Spurs, Beckham may be able to pay attention to Ronaldo and Messi much sooner than he anticipated.

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