14 NOVEMBER 2007

Hot on the heels of his wife's big bucks deal with an upmarket US lingerie chain, David Beckham has scored his own lucrative smalls assignment. The British footie ace has signed a contract worth a reported £20 million to be the new ambassador for Armani underwear.

The deal – his first ever major clothing contract, which will keep him busy for the next three years - is thought to have been sanctioned by Giorgio Armani himself. Since David moved to LA to take up his post with the Galaxy football team, the 73-year-old designer has dined on several occasions with the sports star and his wife Victoria when he's in town.

Says a source close to the midfielder: "The personal relationship was definitely instrumental to this deal. David and Giorgio get on very well, so it was very much Giorgio's personal choice. But Armani also see this as a sound business decision - few individuals have the truly global reach that David can have."

Becks got down to work on his first shoot for the fashion firm last Friday in Los Angeles. He will front the underwear campaign in a series of billboard and fashion magazine adverts from the beginning of next year.

Photo: ©
The 32-year-old was apparently hand picked by Giorgio to be the label's new underwear ambassador. It's not the first time the pair have worked together – David was instrumental in getting the Italian style icon to design the England football squad's off-pitch wardrobe in 2003Photo: © RexClick on photo to enlarge