Football: David Beckham to return to China for 7-day visit with wife Victoria, say reports

BEIJING (AFP) - Recently retired football superstar David Beckham will be joined by his wife Victoria during a seven-day visit to China next week, reports said on Friday.

The 38-year-old former England captain will be attending a Chinese Super League football match, reports said, during a visit arranged as part of his role as ambassador for China's top league.

Beckham, who announced his retirement last month after winning the French league title with Paris Saint-Germain, will attend public events with former Spice Girl Victoria after his arrival in Beijing on Monday, the Oriental Sports Daily newspaper said.

"Posh Spice" will also join her husband at a charity auction event in the capital on June 23, the website said.

Beckham's involvement in the Chinese game is focused on developing the sport at grassroots level, officials say. The presence of his glamorous wife on the trip is likely to see media interest soar.

After spending the first day of the trip in Beijing, Beckham will then head to the eastern city of Nanjing, before a brief visit to Shanghai, said, citing organisers. He is expected to visit the local CSL teams in both cities.

He will then spend three days in the eastern city of Hangzhou, culminating in him watching local team Hangzhou Greentown play Beijing Guoan on June 22, the Oriental Sports Daily said.

He will then head to Beijing to attend various events with his wife.

The visit is the second of three that Beckham is making to China during the season, which runs from March to November.

He is also being tasked with promoting the Chinese league, whose image has been battered by corruption scandals in recent years.

But on his first visit in March, Beckham said his key goal was not to repair the sport's image, but to help develop youth football in China.

Beckham, who is known as "Little Becks" in China, also said he was not being paid for his new role.

He has visited China several times in the past, mainly on football tours with his previous clubs, which include Real Madrid and Manchester United.

He also featured at the closing ceremony of the 2008 Olympics.

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