|Soccer player David Beckham looks up as he sits courtside prior to the Los Angeles Lakers playing the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of their NBA Western Conference semifinal basketball playoff in Los Angeles, California May 2, 2011. (REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)
Soccer ace David Beckham has pledged his support to Japan following the massive earthquake and tsunami earlier this year, insisting he will "always" help the "very special" country.
Much of the eastern coast of Japan was left devastated when a huge tidal wave surged inland following the quake in March, and around 30,000 people are thought to have died in the disaster.
Beckham has previously visited the country several times and was impressed with the locals he met - and he's convinced their courage and generosity will help them "rise to the challenge" of rebuilding the region.
In a video posted on his Facebook.com page, he says, "I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say that my thoughts are with you during this very difficult time.
"I'm lucky to have had the opportunity to visit Japan many times and I have great memories of your beautiful country. The Japanese people are very special and have always amazed me with your generosity, warmth and courage.
"In the face of this terrible disaster we know that together you will rise to the challenge and work as one to overcome any obstacle, as Japan has always done. We are with you now and will always be."