Being the son of one of the most famous athletes ever is a gift and a curse … so says Alexi Lalas, who tells TMZ Sports Romeo Beckham will experience both highs and lows throughout his soccer career.

Of course, David Beckham‘s 19-year-old son just signed with Fort Lauderdale CF over the weekend … the sister club to Inter Miami CF, which the soccer icon co-owns.

We spoke with Lalas shortly after the signing … and he’s giving props to the kid for taking on the challenge of following in David’s footsteps.

"Probably not easy running around with that name on the back of your jersey," Lalas said.

But, AL says Romeo’s probably not even concerned about living up to the pressure … adding, "I don’t think he’s worried about that. I certainly don’t think his father’s worried about that."

"As long as he’s having a good time and he’s good, he can be his own man and figure it out himself."

Lalas says the Beckham last name will provide more opportunities for him … but will also undoubtedly make certain things harder as well.

"It opens doors for you but it also can provide some barriers for you so as long as he appreciates the opportunity he has and does the work, I’m all for it."

We know what you’re thinking — is this a case of nepotism?? Lalas has an interesting take.

"We all have our different opportunities and our different privileges and our different advantages in life. That’s just the way life is. Life isn’t fair and soccer isn’t fair but it’s what you do with ’em and, obviously, you have to appreciate him and respect him."

"I think he recognized that some doors may have been opened for him but they only stay open so long. If you don’t have the chops, they’ll kick your ass right out."