Tokyo: Union Jacks hung from the windows, streets were cordoned off and office workers headed to the rooftops Friday in the hope of getting a glimpse of soccer superstar David Beckham.
The 28-year-old England captain, who is in Japan on a promotional tour, visited a local grade school and touched off a minor frenzy in the surrounding area.
Earlier, Beckham was presented with a 3-m chocolate statue of himself and told adoring Japanese fans he wants to set up soccer schools in Asia and England when he’s done playing.
“Thank you for this wonderful welcome,” Beckham told students at the Kyobashi-Tsukiji elementary school. “To see the children with their smiling faces is the high point of my trip.”
Hordes of people lined the streets around the school’s fenced-off playground where Beckham kicked the ball around with a few lucky kids.
After being presented with drawings of himself, Beckham took questions from the Japanese students. One wanted to know what his next hairstyle will be like. “My next hairstyle' I really don’t know. Have you got an idea for me'”
As for his transfer to Real Madrid, Beckham told the students he is looking forward to the challenge. “I’m playing for Real Madrid now,” Beckham said. “And it’s going to be a great honour and challenge for me, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Before leaving the school, Beckham gave a young student a No. 7 England jersey and an autographed ball. Screaming girls chased after his limo when it pulled out of the school gates.
Earlier, thousands of screaming Beckham buffs looked on as a larger-than-life confectionery tribute to the star was unveiled by Meiji chocolate, one of the companies he is plugging on his publicity blitz through Japan and other Asian countries.
“It looks absolutely amazing, and I’m sure it tastes delicious,” said Beckham. (AP)