David Beckham will leave Real Madrid at the end of the Spanish season and sign a five-year deal for US side Los Angeles Galaxy worth $1 million a week.
"After discussing several options with my family and my advisors to either stay here in Madrid or join other major British and European teams I have decided to join LA Galaxy and play in the Major League Soccer (MLS) from August this year," Beckham told reporters.
The 31-year-old former England captain will earn a total $250 million over the five years.
In a televised interview, Beckham said: "I didn't want to go out there at 34 years old and for people to turn around and say he's only going there to get the money. It's not what I'm going out there to do.
"I would like to thank supporters and the people of Madrid who have made my family and I so welcome in my time here making this an extremely difficult decision to make," Beckham said.
"I have enjoyed my time here enormously and I am extremely grateful to the club for giving me an opportunity to play for such a great team and their amazing fans."
Beckham, who joined the Spanish giants from Manchester United in June 2003, is still one of the most recognisable and marketable sports figures in the world despite being dropped by England following last year's World Cup quarter-final exit and has spent much of the Spanish season on the bench.
He is certainly the biggest name to move to the US since soccer greats Pele, Franz Beckenbauer and Johan Cruyff played in the now-defunct North American Soccer League (NASL) in the 1970s and early 80s andgives a major shot in the armto the Major League Soccer (MLS), formed 10 years ago.