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Beckham continues to take centre stage

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David Bond | 17:53 UK time, Wednesday, 2 November 2011

David Beckham says he is "not finished yet". But at the age of 36 he knows that his next playing contract could be his last.

Although he has been offered another year with the Los Angeles Galaxy and there is talk of a possible return to the Premier League, it seems that Paris Saint Germain, now owned by Qatar Sports Investments, could be the next stop on his tour of the world's most glamorous cities.

It is remarkable that despite his age and the effects of last year's Achilles injury, the level of interest in Beckham seems undiminshed. It is matched only by his apparent hunger to carry on playing at the highest level possible.

Critics would argue his attempts to string out his playing career are nothing more than a cynical ploy to keep the cash flowing in from his commercial deals.

But having again topped the Forbes footballers' rich list in 2011 with earnings of £24m, he hardly needs the money. So what is driving him to carry on?

The prospect of leading the first British football team to play in an Olympics since 1960 is clearly part of it. Beckham is proud of representing his country and was touched by the role and influence he had in the final days of London's successful bid for the 2012 Games. Talking to him off camera it is obvious he is still hurt by the failure of England's 2018 World Cup bid last year.

Beckham told me in our interview that he still feels like a kid when it comes to playing for and leading your country, and that it is his dream: to play for Team GB in an Olympics being staged so close to where he grew up.

But the former England captain clearly wants to keep going beyond 2012. When I asked him whether he had an age in mind for retirement, he joked about carrying on until he was 49. But he must have seen what his old Manchester United team-mate Ryan Giggs has done and feel he can match that.

Beckham is still playing a major role at LA Galaxy in the USA. Photo: Getty

If he does manage to land a big contract with Paris Saint Germain back in Europe then it will certainly prove the doubters wrong who said LA was more about showbusiness than football. So as he approaches what could be his last few weeks with the Galaxy, how has Beckham's big American project gone?

When I came here five years ago to write a piece for my old paper the Daily Telegraph, the notion that one man could change a nation's sporting habits was pretty widely dismissed. Five years on, it's clear football, or soccer as the Americans would have it, has made some progress.

There are seven new Major League Soccer (MLS) franchises with the prospect of another New York team to come next year. Nine new stadiums are in operation and the value of those franchises has increased too. To buy a team now it will cost about $80-$100m compared to $40m or $50m a couple of years ago.

Attendances and ticket revenues are also going up, both at the LA Galaxy, and across the MLS. Other big names like Thierry Henry and Robbie Keane have followed Beckham to America, but there is still a perception - rightly or wrongly - that MLS is a lucrative and glamorous retirement home for fading stars.

European and Premier League teams are growing increasingly popular, a fact reflected by the increase in the value of their television rights here. It's the same for the World Cup with Fifa recently securing a $1.2bn deal with Fox and Telemundo for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments. That hasn't yet rubbed off on MLS which, by way of contrast, makes just $10m a year from selling their national TV rights.

Football still struggles to punch through. To illustrate the point the front page lead in today's LA Times is on businessman Frank McCourt's decision to finally sell the Dodgers baseball team after a protracted financial battle to retain the franchise.

The Galaxy play their biggest game of the season so far tomorrow and are three games from winning the MLS Cup play-offs - the equivalent of the Premier League title. That doesn't even merit a mention in the sports section. Speak to local sports journalists and sports business experts here and they will tell you that while MLS has come on, it's not necessarily had much to do with Beckham.

Until this season - his best since he joined the Galaxy - he has struggled with injuries and indifferent form. He has also been accused of spending too much time back in Europe on loan with AC Milan and trying to retain his place in the England team. "David Beckham has definitely made an impact as a celebrity and in LA it's all about hanging out with the stars," Nick Green, a sports columnist on the LA Daily News tells me. "But he has not really made an impact as a soccer player.'

To be fair to Beckham he has always been pretty realistic about what difference he would make. Here's what he said back in 2007: "I'm not silly enough to think I'm going to change the whole culture because it's not going to happen. But I do have a belief that soccer can go to a different level."

Looking back he now says he feels genuine progress has been made but there is still a long way to go. There is no question that is true in a country obsessed with the big four of baseball, American football, basketball and ice hockey. But during his five years in LA, Beckham has made his mark. And it is clear that despite coming to the end of his career he still wants to do more in the game.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 2.

    Does anybody still care about David Beckham?

    He is very much passed it in footballing terms, so I wish the media would just let it lie. He'll never play for England again, and will be a highly paid bit-part player if he ever comes back to the Premier League.

    But he'll shift a lot of shirts, of course.

    The media's continuing obsession with him is quite boring.

  • Comment number 3.

    "Beckham continues to take centre stage"

    The title of this piece will continue as long as the BBC continues to pander to the PR machine that is Beckham. Why does this story appear under sport? If you want to give him what he craves (attention), please put it in the entertainment section. This is the stuff of celebrity magazines.

  • Comment number 4.

    David Beckham may not be the player he once was, but that doesn't mean he can't offer a lot to a club, and he is such a fantastic role model for new young players; integrity and a love of football rarely come across in players nowadays. It is better the media is obsessed with a person who has such a fantastic work ethic and commitment than with people like Balotelli and Tevez who are in the news for the wrong reasons.

  • Comment number 5.

    To Banderbear - yeah Beckham loves football SO much that he semi-retired to a tin-pot league aged 32 to (occasionally) stroll around a football pitch and get a massive pay packet.

    Top man!

  • Comment number 6.

    Comments 1,2 and 3 above relate to lack of judgement, lack of appreciation and most of all no acknowledgement as to what DB has given to his country and his (undisclosed) charitable works. Perhaps the persons concerned in these reviews would like to openly publish their CVs in order that we can compare their life time achievements with those of of DB.

  • Comment number 7.

    I thought this was a blog about Beckham's football future, not about his 'life achievements', so not really sure why you've brought that up.

  • Comment number 8.

    Please don't come to PSG. We are doing quite well this season and all of our new signings have gelled well. All hungry young players with a point to prove, that hopefully we can start to build an exciting team for the Champions League next season.

    Beckham's arrival reeks of the type of signings we made in the late 90's. All flash and no substance. A complete liability waiting to wreck our first league title since '94. Just stay in England and pimp yourself out for the GB team, we don't want you at Paris.

    If you are desperate to play in the City of Light, then join Red Star - they need all the help they can get.

  • Comment number 9.

    I genuinely don't believe that Beckham's only interest is money and fame, or he could have retired a long time ago, otherwise why would he put so much of his own money into moving to ac milan, I think Beckham is still very passionate about football, and can teach a lot of us about both humility and perseverance.
    He is one of the only players I still care about as a person and I wish him more success for his hard work than he gets right now.

  • Comment number 10.

    I just hope Capello forgets about Beckham in any capacity from now on. He's no longer good enough to play for England & there's no point to him being there as an "advisor" as there are more qualified people in the England camp already. He's been a good servant to England but it's over & he should realise it. at 36 there may be 1 or 2 Premier league teams interested in him but I think it's time to bow out gracefully.

  • Comment number 11.

    Disappointed in the BBC for giving Brand Beckham air time on the national news with a nothing story. Good question from the reporter would he take a younger players place in an Olympic team or that seemed to be the jist of it. Of course he would , he ll be captain of the team for all the wrong reasons. Your pretty naive if you think anything else, he refuses to retire because of money and fame that comes with going to world cups when injured or Olympic games.Watch him start to pop up everywhere in the next few months his media circus is coming to the olympic games.

  • Comment number 12.

    I think you've shortchanged MLS somewhat in your analysis. In addition to what you said, they recently posted their largest ever average season attendence of something around 17kish, which is higher than some European leagues. Furthermore Seattle regularly attracts over 36,000 fans a match, that's something that would fit in nicely in the EPL let alone MLS. The TV deal while still tiny is the largest the league has ever had. There is also another team joining next year in the shape of Montreal (which once drew 55k to a CONCACAF Champion's League match).

    It's not something that's going to explode over night. The highly competitive US sports market and the recession are going to stop that. Also the fact that MLS has always adopted a 'slow and steady' approach to avoid the flash in the pan that was the NASL, however it's telling that MLS increased it's average attendenced and now has a larger average attendence than both the NBA and NHL (admittedly while selling tickets much cheaper and playing in larger stadiums).

    This isn't all a result of Beckham but he was the one who got the ball rolling in 2007, along with the highly successful entry of Toronto and Seattle into the league.

  • Comment number 13.

    People have such short memories - 100+ caps for his country. He won games and got us to major competitions practically by himself.

    Respect that at least.

    We are so good at tearing good people down and building up those of questionable character, if we as supporters stopped doing that our national team might get somewhere.

  • Comment number 14.

    Bobcorn,

    This is about Beckham plc. What he has given as a player and charity raiser is one thing, the Beckham PR machine is quite another. Even as a player he would head for the nearest camera when someone else scored!

  • Comment number 15.

    Some of these posts are hilarious.
    Beckham is obviously still a very good footballer. Yes a lot of the interest he generates is because he'll sell a lot of merchandise, but at 36 u can never buy a player solely for their contribution on the pitch. Revenue aside, he will improve morale, give advice and support, he is vastly experienced as well as being able to produce decent stuff on the pitch. I can't think of many 36 year old's that I would buy who contribute that much.
    Green eyed monster's a plenty.
    And #8...PSG would be lucky to have him.

  • Comment number 16.

    Wow!
    Check out all the Beckham bashers.

    The man's a living legend of a footballer. Loves the game and with an outside chance of representing GB at the London olympics is prepared to carry on playing into his late 30's. It's not like he need the money.

    Yet all some of you can do is have a go at him. Why? Because he's ex man Utd?
    English? Lived the dream of playing for Man u, Madrid, Milan and England?
    Played and scored in 3 world cups? Has a record number of caps?

    Or maybe because it's 'cool' to have a go him?

    I guess honesty is not something you get alot of on these blogs.
    What's the real reason?
    Did he score a late winner against your team a million years ago and you still haven't got over it?
    Come on, be honest.

  • Comment number 17.

    "Beckham is obviously still a very good footballer"

    That depends on your definition of very good. Are any top teams interested in him? No appears to be the answer. He was very good though never the best player in any club side he played for until his period in the USA.

  • Comment number 18.

    "The man's a living legend of a footballer"

    Good grief. Living legend at PR not as a footballer.

  • Comment number 19.

    As a genuine football legend George Best said



    "Beckham - you can say he's got a good right foot but he's not got a left. "

    "Beckham didn't deserve to be elected best player in the world. When he can do something else apart from cross perhaps he will."

    "He (Beckham) cannot kick with his left foot, he cannot head a ball, he cannot tackle and he doesn't score many goals. Apart from that he's all right."

    He was a one trick pony who no longer plays football just soccer.

    He may have duped the football media and prawn sandwich brigade but the rest of us sussed him long ago and it's about time the BBC sussed Beckham's marketing department's manipulation of the media.

  • Comment number 20.

    Dont think anyone would dispute Beckham ability whilst at Man Utd . He was helped out the club by a manager who rightly thought he had more going off the pitch than on it. He s been a media brand since then, going to the best deals on image rather than football . THAT is what annoys people on here . Would you rather Ashley Young , Lennon or a young prospect be picked for the Olympics or somebody who tells us he loves his country at every opportunity but has nt been here for 6 years.He wants it for his image and his self and he ll get it , get used to it the PR machine has started and that includes the BBC.

  • Comment number 21.

    Having read some of the jealous posts on this blog, its no wonder England never win at international level. Its recently been revealed how childishly some England team players have behaved behind the scenes when they should have been pulling together.
    Small minded, opinionated people who try to negatively influence the GB team before the Olympic games even starts are disloyal to the spirit of sport and their country.
    If Stuart Pierce wants Beckham involved in some way then he will be, if not...not.
    I'm not particularly a Beckham fan but but his influence in English football has largely been positive and to pretend otherwise is just daft.

  • Comment number 22.

    I'm not having a go at this blog to be 'cool', and I'm not 'Beckham-bashing' for the sake of it.

    I'm saying that Beckham used to be a very good player, but is not longer relevant as a footballer.

    That's why, back in January, Harry Redknapp paid him plenty of compliments and platitudes, allowed him to train with Spurs as a great PR exercise, but ultimately didn't sign him.

  • Comment number 23.

    Post 16: "Wow!
    Check out all the Beckham bashers.

    The man's a living legend of a footballer. Loves the game and with an outside chance of representing GB at the London olympics is prepared to carry on playing into his late 30's. It's not like he need the money.

    Yet all some of you can do is have a go at him. Why? Because he's ex man Utd?
    English? Lived the dream of playing for Man u, Madrid, Milan and England?
    Played and scored in 3 world cups? Has a record number of caps?

    Or maybe because it's 'cool' to have a go him?"



    Some muddled thinking here. Believe it or not it's actually possible to have a less than positive view of David Beckham whilst remaining a sane, rational member of the human race!

    There's nothing terribly wrong about Beckham. He's a dedicated professional who seems like a decent guy. But "living legend"??? Let's get some perspective.

    Yes he played 115 times for England, but it must be noted his England career was extended by the indulgence of Fabio Capello who brought him on for farsical 10 mintue cameos that count as a full England cap, and helped Beckham limp past the 100 mark.

    More to the point, 115 games over 12 years, and yet Beckham only played anywhere near his best in one finals tournament (Euro 2000). At all the others (France 98, Japan 02, Portugal 04, Germany 06) he got sent off, wasn't fully recovered from an injury, was shockingly out of form, and was woefully unfit. Granted, not all those things were his fault, but the point is that at NO major tournament for England did he ever set the world alight or dominate the tournament like a truly great international player would have done. And the evidence for that is that people bleat on about "That" goal against Greece. Of all his 115 matches, people can only remember one - albeit vital - qualifier back in 2001. Doesn't that tell us something?

    It's also worth remembering that 8 years ago, when he was still only 28, Sir Alex Ferguson deemed Beckham surplus to requirements at Old Trafford, a judgement call that has proved overwhelmingly correct. Beckham was a really good Premier League player, but by no means in the same class as Utd legends such as Giggs, Keane and Scholes. Ferguson, a shrewd judge of character, and footballer, realised this. The question is, why hasn't the British media?? This guy is 36; he is yesterday's man.

  • Comment number 24.

    I would have prefered a blog about the GB football team news recently, which is actually both interesting and relevent.

    Seeing Bale in a GB shirt, only for the home nations to go crazy about it - i'd like to see some in-depth news about this because it actually interests me, and matters.

    Still - not Beckham's fault. He can only do interviews with who he's asked to and answer questions he is asked.

    As for PSG, they've never shown direct interest in signing Beckham. If you watch the Leonardo thing properly, you'll hear that he talks about the Beckham TYPE of player, and he only talks about Beckham directly because a) he knows him and b) when he thinks about England and English football, he thinks of Beckham.

  • Comment number 25.

    @23 - I think the point is, why are people bashing Beckham because of this blog? It's Bond you want to be directing it at. I can't for the life of me imagine that Beckham has requested Bond come over from the BBC to have a little chat with him.

    He hasn't requested abuse, nor has he done anything to deserve it. He doesn't claim to have been a living legend.

    The guy is one of the best players we've ever produced, and that's without question. Not legendary status, with players like Messi or Zidane, but a great english player. There's not many England players that have produced over many tournaments, especially not in modern times and there's actually not that many players that do it that are considered great now - Messi included (in terms of international level).

    People remember the Greece goal because not only did it save us, but it came after 2 years of absolute media and fan abuse surrounding beckham after the sending off in the world cup. It's still not the only thing he's ever done on the international scene. If you didn't get worked up after he scored the penalty against argentina in the world cup, then there's something wrong with you.

  • Comment number 26.

    Barristered totally missing the point . I dont think the likes of Federer or Murray should be at the Olympics they are too tied into the sponsors for a start. That is part of my problem with Beckham he is tied to adidas who will have an interest in funding the Games . On a football level think he should not be involved because he his not good enough compared to other players . Dont think anyone who watches football seriously would question that. Worry not though Beckham lovers he will be picked so you can buy the perfumes, underpants and hair wax til your hearts content.

  • Comment number 27.

    @25 - I completely agree that Beckham doesn't deserve abuse.

    But I fundementally disagree with you that he's one of the best players we've produced. I don't think his performances at club (pretty good) and country (consistently average) would support your assesment. But he's unquestionably the most famous player we've ever produced. It's important to make the distinction.

    And you don't seem to have commented on my observation that Beckham simply DIDN'T produce over several major tournaments. The penalty against Argentina was well-taken and took guts, but his overall contribution in that World Cup was negliable.

  • Comment number 28.

    "The guy is one of the best players we've ever produced, and that's without question."

    Cringeworthy nonsense.

  • Comment number 29.

    When did Beckham become such a marmite character?! I agree that he was never the greatest player ever, even over rated perhaps. But as a person he's clearly extremely popular in this country and world wide and there is a great deal of interest in his future, so it's ridiculous to slate the BBC for wanting to interview him. It's also ridiculous to question his motivation for still playing at this age: he's already made enough money to last him a couple of life times, and you can see in his interviews that he obviously wants to play for his country and play football at the highest level for as long as possible. If people try and claim that it's all an act and a conspiracy to make more money then I think that's probably over rating his intelligence. Personally I think he seems like a top bloke and an excellent ambassador for our country.

  • Comment number 30.

    This role model called his kid seven!

  • Comment number 31.

    As a footballer it's over. He's so desperate to go out on a 'high'. Whether it's to be picked for team GB to perhaps win a gold or to join PSG and win a medal with their new found fortune but I wish the media would stop focusing on him. In all likely he has a future as an ambassador/manager/(maybe hollywood actor!) but if he wants to come back here he'll be lucky to get his original PNE!

  • Comment number 32.

    Beckham is an all time legend, no question. Mikey no. 23: you made a very foolish comment in stating Giggs, Scholes, and Keane are in a different class...uneducated and plain stupid.

  • Comment number 33.

    Amazing how Beckham continues to attract so much negativity from so many people. Perhaps he's never been truly forgiven for France '98...................

    Seriously, it continues to surprise me how many people carp about him as a person and a footballer. I think even his most ardent fan would certainly concede that he has never been blessed with the natural talent of a Zidane, Gascoigne or Hoddle, to quote just a few examples. What has made him stand out as a footballer is his determination, capacity for hard work & strength of will. At the top level in sport, talent is a given - you'll soon be found out if you're technically deficient. The difference is in the mind, & this is Beckham's strength. It was his strength of will that won the day in the 2002 qualifier against Greece when everyone else went into their shells. In that respect, I think he would have something to offer many teams. I'm always surprised that footballers that are weekly paid six figure sums have to be told what to do for every second on the pitch, rather than working it out for themselves.

    The fact that Beckham has been able to come back from a snapped Achilles is telling, particularly at his age, when most players would be finished. You don't acquire that level of physical fitness & ability to recover by accident. The stories of his commitment to training when he was at Manchester United are legion & it's clear that his dedication to keeping himself in the best possible shape has not wavered with the years, as it does for many players as they get older.

    This is the key point professionally for me. The guy is not the best player ever to wear an England, Man U, Madrid or AC Milan shirt, but his dedication to his craft & commitment to being the best that he can be in his profession is something to be admired, particularly when he could hang it all up & sit on a tv sofa somewhere for the rest of his days. I would go so far as to regard him as a consumate professional & that's certainly a quality that we as a country, let alone a sport ought to tap in to.

    Away from football, everybody in the London 2012 bid team was very clear how helpful he was in the final stages of the bid. He's clearly a patriot & the desire for England, or GB or whoever to do well obviously burns within him. I watched his reactions when he was sitting on the bench last summer & he was clearly mentally kicking every ball! I think many people find Mrs B. not to their liking, but you can't have everything, can you?

    So, give the guy a break, he's not the best footballer in the world, but he is an example of how far hard work can take you, and that's not a bad thing these days.........

  • Comment number 34.

    He gets knocked time and time again by that most basic of lifeforms, the English football fan. Time and time again he proves his doubters wrong, but they all come out the woodwork again and again and again.

    Whatever you say about him, would you prefer somebody of his devotion in the England team? Or somebody like John Terry or the rest of the England squad who seem to have little modesty or humility.

    I'll always remember the story of him pulling over to help a stranded guy with two kids, stuck in the middle of a busy A-road roundabout in Hertford town - after seeing car after car ignore them. Whether or not he was the best player in the world is not really the point, he is the best English player for quite some time and wont swear down cameras at his supporters after paying grannies for sex, or sleeping with his mates ex girlfriends etc etc.

  • Comment number 35.

    I don't care what anyone cynically says about 'brand Beckham' and money being his motive to carry on etc. Beckham has never given less than 100% for every club he's played for. No player has loved captaining his country more in the modern era. He was one of only a handful of English players to leave the PL and be successful with another major European club at Real Madrid. They loved him there. He would still play for England if picked, unlike many other players who have self-retired themselves from the international scene. Every coach he has played under has spoken of his dedication and utter professionalism both in training and in the match.

    In interviews he has always struck me as genuine, sincere and honest, and above all still in love with the game just like a schoolboy, unlike so many of today's money grabbing Premier League mercenaries who truly are just in it for the money. The game will be a poorer place when he does eventually hang up his boots. England should be proud of Beckham as a footballing legend, and as a great sporting ambassador for this country. End of.

  • Comment number 36.

    the names bond. david bond. i love beckham - unconditionally. his golden flowing locks, a right foot of dreams, thigh muscles like a train tractor, an abdomen that, for lack of a better phrase, can only be compared to a greek god. p.s. i also fancy cesc fabregas. lots of love, matt napper.

  • Comment number 37.

    The truly great English players over the years and Beckham cannot be mentioned in the same sentence. True no one has had a publicity machine behind him like Beckham has but lets be sensible.

    I've looked at a few of the so called world all time lists, one did not include George Best in the top 100 [laughable] Pele stated how great the Irishman was. Beckham was put in that particular list ranked 44th. Only Bobby Charlton was above him. Mind you the list did give points for finals appearances and caps but had little to do with ability. Greaves whose record in club football and especially internationals was a brilliant forward who would have been a mega star in any era. Look at his record in the few matches he had in Italy unbelievable at a time when forwards were generally marked out using any means.

    One great England game against Greece, when he actually dragged a team over the line enabling England to qualifybut it had very little to do with outstanding ability that day. Free Kicks and a good crosser of the ball defines Beckham.

    I have watched some of the Galaxy games this season and for the life of me cannot believe he commands a starting place in the team.

    I pray he does not get to be a part of the GB team because he certainly would not be there on merit. Sentiment should not be part of picking a GB team.

  • Comment number 38.

    @27 in 2006 he scored one goal, made 2. the only english player to better that was gerrard who scored two but assisted 0.
    In 2002 he was our most prolific player in terms of goals and assists, 1 and 3. only one player managed more than 3 assists in the tournament.

    Both of these he managed while captaining the side AND carrying injuries into the finals.

  • Comment number 39.

    I remember a story Beckham told of a Man Utd player slighting when he was a kid and wanted a signature. He never wanted anyone to feel the way he felt about him.

    To me this is a player who loves the sport; he isn't there for the money: he is just very good at what he does and gets paid, rightly or wrongly, a lot of money for it.

    Personally, I am all for him playing for Team GB, not for the celebrity status, but because of his dedication, commitment, and determination for the game. If the one of the most reknowned players in the sport ever still has the drive, it can only serve as inspiration for the other players.

  • Comment number 40.

    No he does not deserve to be criticised, and any Englishmen here doing so should feel ashamed.

    I am an Arsenal fan so no Man U tinted glasses. Of course he is no Zidane or Messi as a footballer but i don't think he would claim to be. But he is an honest, hard working and very talented footballer who has always beleived that the pinnacle of his career was to play for England. Despite what happened in 98 and years later being dropped by Steve Maclaren, he was never tempted to turn his back on his country (unlike some others), and i can never remember him giving less than 100%. Whilst i don't suggest bringing him back now he still dreams of another England cap, so what is wrong with that. At 36 of course he is not the player he once was but people saying he is a championship player are a disgrace. SHOW SOME RESPECT!!

    Always a good role model on and off the pitch and a great ambassador for England during Olympic and World Cup bids, most people who have worked with him talk about his boyish enthusiam, professionalism and work ethic. In interviews he always comes across as modest, humble and honest. I think the standing ovation he received at last years Sports Personality awards said it all as to how people feel about him.

    About brand Beckham well a combination of good looks, popstar wife and England captaincy are bound to raise the profile a little and make you appealing to the Advetisers aren't they. How many of us could say we would have handled the fame and money with such dignity.

    As for his future i say best of luck, and thanks, as you are one of the few footballers still playing who makes me feel proud to be English.

  • Comment number 41.

    I've watched England in some dumps and some more glamour-laden stadia...and through it all what stood Beckham out over any clown commenting here was...that he cared. Like 'really' cared.

    Amongst the world class footballer judge bloggers that should at least be respected when piping on about millionaires not caring enough playing for England.

    He cared. For that, we remember. :-)

  • Comment number 42.

    "...his tour of glamorous cities"

    Manchester, Madrid, LA, Milan... that's a 50% stay in so-called glamorous cities. Manchester is the farthest place from glamor, and LA is a motorway.

  • Comment number 43.

    Football at the Olympics should be like the Boxing with amateurs only or not at all. Same with Tennis, Rugby and Golf.

    No offence to Dave but he has had how many? world cup, euro champs, champs leaugue, FA cup finals etc to achieve majors honours in football. Now he can have a crack at a gold medal also. The Olympics should be the pinnacle of your sport IMO. The Olympics should not be jammed full of sports that saturate the sporting calender all year every year.

    GB football team is looking like being a complete farce in light of the Welsh reaction to gareth bale promoting the kit. Are we seriously going to line up with Beckham plus 10 other english players and pretend it's a Great British team. Oh well, out in the quarters no doubt but I think prefer that to the footballers overshadowing any of our our true Olympians.

  • Comment number 44.

    #16 Zeemo: well said.

    oh you beckham bashers, you amaze me! you dont belong here!

    RESPECT, you fools!

  • Comment number 45.

    He was a great player with the emphasis on 'was'.

    I thought he was fantastic for England, but we've never had a team of world beaters and we've always had two or three top class players carrying the rest of the team, whether it was Rooney, Gerrard and Ferdinand; Beckham, Scholes and Shearer; Gascoigne, Platt and Lineker. It's always been that way so it's unfair to call Beckham 'average' just because we didn't storm it at an international tournament.

    I think the real point is that apart from his fame and his presence, a lot of people are not sure what he has to offer in terms of on-pitch impact these days.

    I'd rather see the Olympics tournament used purely for the benefit of U-23 players, not as a sentimental swansong for veterans like Beckham. I want to see exciting young players like Bale, Ramsey, and young english players who might not make Euro 2012. I want to see the future. Beckham was a nice guy admired by a lot of people and he was a fine player, but he belongs to the past.

  • Comment number 46.

    He's been declining since his move to Real and he's definitely finished as a top player, no question. He was finished years ago. No doubt he's got the fitness and desire to carry on, but what to achieve?

    It's a shame his professional image was severely compromised when he moved to a mockery of a league. He played for two top clubs in two top leagues and then threw it all away when he agreed to change his life. No doubt he'll stay in LA for the rest of his days with his would-be American family, but he could have held on for a little longer at the top.

  • Comment number 47.

    David Beckham is such a great guy, he is everything we aspire to be, even though I've never met him.

    Welcome to 21st century globalist capitalist commercial bullcrap!

  • Comment number 48.

    I know who i would rather have to take a free fick in the last minute of a game, one of the best dead ball specialist in world football still and i would even have Micheal Owen on the bench for England just for his know how in the penalty box just picture this Darren bent or Owen one on one with keeper who would you put your money on to score?

  • Comment number 49.

    "A living legend"
    "One of the greatest footballers ever"

    What is wrong with some of you people.

    David Beckham spent three years at Real Madrid. They happen to be the only three years in the teams HISTORY that Real Madrid won absolutely NOTHING.

    That certainly is a heck of a contribution to a very successful club.

    Anyone that knows anything about football, can name better players (for days on end) that David Beckham couldn't even carry their 'jock-strap'.

  • Comment number 50.

    49. At 05:34 3rd Nov 2011, winterheat2012 wrote:

    "David Beckham spent three years at Real Madrid. They happen to be the only three years in the teams HISTORY that Real Madrid won absolutely NOTHING."

    Just all kinds of wrong. Check your facts again and some of the backdrop to those facts, fella. You know nothing.

    I'm not a United fan, or Real or whoever. I'm not at all enamoured with David Beckham, but he's clearly a nice enough bloke, and his dedication and professionalism is undeniably admirable and almost heart-warming compared to some paid professionals (in sports, acting, journalism....), and might be something we look back on as a lost attribute in a decade's time.

  • Comment number 51.

    .
    STILL HAS MORE TO ACHIEVE ???

    What on Earth has he been doing up to now? At 36, if you hadn't done it, you ain't going to, that's for sure.

    Its our Becks on self-promotion again. If England fall fo this crap, then they deserve to be where they are, in the wilderness of international football.

    David would be well advised to stay there in LA and join up with his pal Vinnie Jones and wow the actresses parading up and down Hollywood Hills in their posing pouch.

  • Comment number 52.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 53.

    To # 8 , you would be extremely lucky to have him play for PSG. I am glad that your not the owner of PSG and your comment will have no bearing on the outcome . I am a die-hard England fan and I do hope to see BECKS playing back for England in the coming EURO. His passes AND SUBLIME CROSSES are still as accurate as ever and his FREE KICKS are still as deadly as ever . His work rate is second to none and him commitment beyond reproach . Just because he is so famous and so wealthy doesn't give anyone the right to have a go at him because of jealousy .
    Go BECKS and hoping to see you in an England shirt shortly!

  • Comment number 54.

    This Beckham Bashing really surprises me.. I mean what are you guys having a go at Beckham for??? That at the age of 36 he dreams of playing for his country!!! I mean you should be proud of the fact that you have a player who wants to desperately play for his country.. Ask Terry, Rooney, Cole or the others and they couldnt care less for the Olympics... He may not even have the same ability he used to have earlier but for his sheer dedication to the cause of England he deserves to be in the team. Not having Beckham playing for England is like not having Tendulkar playing for India.. And I believe both are the same age!!

  • Comment number 55.

    well done , # 16 . this is the naked truth .

  • Comment number 56.

    Buckham is a World Class Male Model and Poser who will always be remembered for wearing a see-through Japanese skirt.

  • Comment number 57.

    That reminds me, I must buy Buckhams perfume this Christmas for that prat of a brother in law I have. Love to see him cringe.

  • Comment number 58.

    Beckham has nothing to prove to anyone and I don't think he'll be of a mind set to prove anyone wrong but I still believe he is a good player. For that reason, I would love to see him back in the Premier League. A lot of doubt surrounding Beckham exist because we've barely seen him play since he departed Old Trafford, unless you're a fan of Spanish football coverage. If he signed for a Spurs, Newcastle, Everton or Villa, I think he'd prove that he is still more than capable at the top level and silence a lot of critics and possibly get back into England contention. I do doubt however that he would blemish his CV with such clubs, Spurs apart and I do doubt his desire to leave the States. From what I understand and have read, his family enjoys a quality of life there that would be feasible here. Therefore expect him to stay with the Galaxy.

  • Comment number 59.

    God how we love to put people on pedestals then knock them off again .... Mr Beckham has been put up, knocked off, then put back up again, and is now being knocked off again.

    We are an envy culture, and consider any 'success' to be a 'sin'. But he has made a great success of his family (look at the marriage and kids folks!), career (look at the medals folks!), and his commercial life (look at the money folks!), and what is so wrong with that?

    If he ends up leading team GB in the Olympics (which he played no mean part in getting us), then good for him. Its not a serious competition, and is just an honour which maybe he has earned for his high profile ambassadorship role over the years.

    So stop being churlish ('left foot this' and 'one trick pony' that), and applaud a man who has always tried to do the right thing, and whom much of the rest of the world sees as a model Brit (or Englishman).

  • Comment number 60.

    "Always a good role model on and off the pitch"

    You are joking about the off the pitch part surely? Ask his wife.

  • Comment number 61.

    Yawn!

  • Comment number 62.

    Dave B is the bestest player to ever grace da futboll pitch.

    u lot shud be gratful u had the privalig to see him, he is still da bestest.

    Kind Regards The BBC sports team.

  • Comment number 63.

    What ever you think of DB, you have to look at the positives as they outway the negatives by a mile! The man is a living sports icon! Yes he is 36, yes he is past his best, however look at what DB has brought to the world of football. When you look back at some of the greats i am sure his name will be mentioned in one way or another, so to me that shows how much he put into the game we all love. Will we remember Carlos Teves or John Terry!!! No they are currently in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, whilst DB is at least showing how passionate and comminted he is to his country by wanting to be part of something special. Good Luck DB carry on doing good for charity, kids and country.

  • Comment number 64.

    Retire at the top of your game. Be remembered as the best at Association Football, not anything else.
    If you leave retirement too late, all you have left is a season on:-
    CELEBRITY MASTER CHEF and STRICTLY COME DANCING.
    The only long-term winners at CELEBRITY MASTER CHEF are, BRUCE & TESS, and the only long-term winners at STRICTLY COME DANCING are, JOHN & GREGG.
    It doen't pay the bills. Stick to what you know ?

  • Comment number 65.

    "When I came here five years ago to write a piece for my old paper the Daily Telegraph, the notion that one man could change a nation's sporting habits was pretty widely dismissed. Five years on, it's clear football, or soccer as the Americans would have it, has made some progress."

    Some progress has been moving from a minor sport to ..........a minor sport. One man cannot change a nation's sporting habits. David, were you desperate for a story? Grasping at straws comes to mind.

  • Comment number 66.

    Buckham has a new perfume out this Christmas called Suction, it retails for £24.99 and will be available from the 21st November.

  • Comment number 67.

    TO all the murty's of the world ( at 63) and to all the teddy bears ( 62) and the erasmuses ...I salute you and your opinions about DB..really he is a true Legend and I already bought a ticket to go and see him play against melbourne victory on DEC 6.
    This guy is truly a legend...won untold number of medals with MU...contributed heaps to England during his career ..and is doing marvels with LA Galaxy after a huge success with AC Milan ...notwithstanding all his bad luck with injuries ( metatarsal and A.TENDON ...he is still wanted by top clubs around the world at his current age....all the best MR DAVID BECKHAM and hoping u will be putting on the ENGLAND JERSEY COME JUNE 2012.

  • Comment number 68.

    He brings a media circus, you may not like the way he dresses(me for one), but you cant deny that he is still probably the or one of the best crossers of the ball in the world, and can still crack a set piece as good as any.

  • Comment number 69.

    Buckham will unveil his latest tattoo on New Years Day, with Ladbrokes opening a book on what it will be.

  • Comment number 70.

    wow max you have a real issue with old Dave dont you?

  • Comment number 71.

    Some of the comments on here really show what is wrong with our country. Beckham has a massive passion for Football. Why else would he still be playing and risking injury when he could be sitting on endorsements that would probably keep him just as flush?!

    On top of that, he has become an icon of an era mostly due to hard work. Working with someone who used to play alongside him I've heard about his work ethich, staying on the training ground after practice to work on his set pieces for an hour or two, while his team mates went off to the pub. But as someone mentioned, maybe we would rather celebrate the likes of John Terry and Carlos Tevez???

  • Comment number 72.

    I can't honestly believe some of the stuff that is written on these blogs, there are some seriously negative people in the world with far too much time on their hands!!

    Beckham has been a brilliant servant for England, he is pationate, patriotic and always gave his all. These people questioning his ability and trying to draw comparisons with Zizou, Messi - he was a completely different player!! Get over it!!

    He won everything with Man Utd, was a major reason why Madrid turned that season around to win La Liga, and was credited with Milans success when he was there. Forget all of your pathetic opinions, the mans CV stacks up as a footballer.

    People saying he is only famed for that Greece equaliser....how many footballers even get that 1 second in the sun? I love Paul Scholes and think he is the best English player I'll ever see, but can anyone pinpoint any International highlights? (I'm not having a go at Scholes!!!)

    The people critising DB are what is wrong with this country. We will never be successful at that level until we accept losing as part of the game.

    I hope he gets a top European team when his contract expires, I hope he plays for Team GB, and I hope when he is a success that all you jealous negative people tell all your friends how you predicted he wouldn't

  • Comment number 73.

    Beckham has always been an inspirational figure in the world of football. He has faced much adversity over the years but has shown determination to overcome and achieve loftier goals.

    I have always been a fan of his dedication as a professional, but on the subject of playing for England again and also captaining the Olympic team, he needs to hang it up. athletes generally are victims of their own egos and play on too long after their skills have diminished. Beckham is at a level in the MLS where his talents are still valued and he is still a star. He no longer has the body to play in major European or international competition.

    His self inclusion in the frame for the Olympic team is a joke. He is 36 and would potentially take a spot from a younger player who represents more of the future than the Galaxy midfielder.

    David this is not about you. Get over it......

  • Comment number 74.

    There is a great poster of Buckham in Los Angeles, modelling as a Cowboy on a white horse with no saddle!

  • Comment number 75.

    I think his wife would like to be Lady Beckham.

  • Comment number 76.

    maxmerit, you clearly have issues with DB. Mock him all you want, at the end of the day look at the positives he has done for club, country and most of all kids and charity. DB is still passionate about football and wants to be invloved in the future of the sport, so why not let him and support his enthusiasum for the game! Do you see any of these moden day footballers doing the same as DB? Can you see Teves or Drogba doing there bit for charity? The answer is No! DB clearly does not need the money, he is doing this for the future of british football. I rest my Case!

  • Comment number 77.

    It is said that Buckham is considering adopting a baby from a tribe in the Amazon jungle. I wonder what he will call it?

  • Comment number 78.

    I must admit I am quite surprised with all the negativity pointed towards David Beckham on here. I don't think any of us truly believe that Beckham will play for England again, but that doesn't mean he is unable to prove to be a good acquisition for a club side. Beckham's quality was never his ability to go past people, it was about his distribution. Ability like that doesn't really disappear and I think people are doing him a disservice by claiming he is "past it" or "only good enough for League 1".

    True, the MLS may not be a similar standard to the Premier League, but again, you may want to question the actual quality of the Premier League if 6 or 7 sides are omitted. Lazy throw away comments are far too common when assessing Beckham's lifestyle and career path.

    The 'Beckham-bashing' I find a little strange. Here is a guy who has passion for the game, representing his country and proving to be a role model for kids and aspiring footballers. Compared to many of his professional colleagues, I would have thought David Beckham would be held as a pretty good example of how we would all expect to conduct ourselves if we were fortunate enough to 'live the dream'.

    http://thethoughtsofphil.wordpress.com/

  • Comment number 79.

    It is said that Buckham is considering adopting a baby from a tribe in the Amazon jungle. I wonder what he will call it?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ask Madonna.

  • Comment number 80.

    There's no need for anyone to get personal about Beckham and make crude comments. But seriously, I think some posters are confusing a personal comment with proper, constructive criticism.

    David Beckham was a really good Premier League player and a committed, dedicated, passionate servant of England. Few will disagree. But it's a complete lack of perspective to say that he is "a living legend"; "one of England's finest ever players" - because he's neither!! I'm not sure why some people take it so personally when this is pointed out??!

  • Comment number 81.

    "you cant deny that he is still probably the or one of the best crossers of the ball in the world, and can still crack a set piece as good as any."

    That's all there ever has been to his skill set. No left foot, no heading ability, no dribbling, no pace...... Maybe he should try to get the rules changed to be like American football where a set piece man can come on.

    Ryan Giggs must read this BBC love-in with Beckham and laugh out loud. Much more ability, way more medals and until recently much less PR. Giggs isn't touting himself for a place in the olympic team though he is still playing at the top level and thus way more deserving of a pick from Pearce.

  • Comment number 82.

    "proving to be a role model for kids"

    Really, a role model. I don't want my child to be:

    1. constantly craving attention,
    2. almost entirely motivated by PR,
    3. having thrones at her wedding,
    4. naming a child after her shirt number,
    5. covered in tattoos.

    etc. etc.

  • Comment number 83.

    "I must admit I am quite surprised with all the negativity pointed towards David Beckham on here."


    I think its because of the BBC's (and others in the media) obsession with him.

    I dont think many will doubt he was fantastic at what he did in his prime, but at the age he is, he is nothing more than a bit part player now. However the media would have us believe that he is a shoe in for the Olympics and would still cut it week in week out at any of the big clubs around the world.

    People are fed up with reading / hearing about the bloke every 2 years with football championships, and recently with the contract stuff and Olympics.

    He was a good footballer (over-rated though like most (if not all of the England squad)) but at 36 he is now being vastly over-rated because of his superb PR.

  • Comment number 84.

    maximert - if you go to www.theperfumeshop.com they are seeling DB perfume at a reasonable price, plus you also get a FREE DB travel bag!!! You now have an extra gift for your brother-in-law!!! He aint that bad after all is he? lol

  • Comment number 85.

    I have to admit the thought of David Buckham appearing on Strictly Cum Prancing, in those tight sequined pants that they wear, would be the television highlight of the year. All the boys down in our club would just love it!

  • Comment number 86.

    FairPlayMotty

    Is that an enormous cavern on your shoulder? Just because you hate David Beckham does not mean you have to saturate this blog with your negativity. Grow up.

  • Comment number 87.

    Thanks Murty, I am right on it.

  • Comment number 88.

    Giggs isn't touting himself for a place in the olympic team though he is still playing at the top level and thus way more deserving of a pick from Pearce.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    as much as i love Giggsy, he dosnt show the highest level very often or frequently, so I'd apart from Becks playing in the American pub league, theyd offer just as much to the GB side in terms of leadership and experience. Although good shout about Giggs, but dont think hed be interested.


    And as for kids, dont they all crave attention anyway? Mine do (mind theyre 4 3 and 1) it shows they love you. And, most teenagers these days have tattoos of some sort.

  • Comment number 89.

    People are fed up with reading / hearing about the bloke every 2 years with football championships, and recently with the contract stuff and Olympics.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I get fed up as well, but dont listen/read then.

  • Comment number 90.

    I wouldn't quite say he was a legend of the game in the same way Maradona, Pele and Zidane were but he was still a very good player. He's probably more of a brand name now than anything else but still I think he would be an asset to any club in the Premier League outwith the big 4 or 5. Even if it was just a bit part player. Some fool on here thinks he could barely get a game for a league 1 side. Hmm.
    I think Beckham still has a couple of years left at a decent level.

    I think there is a lot of bad blood towards Beckham and it's pretty sad. Call yourselves English supporters? The treatment some of you guys gave him after France 98 was pathetic.

  • Comment number 91.

    TO ALL BECKHAM BABES

    He's past his sell-by date, and was never there in the first place. Taking penalties and bending balls over the wall isn't enough for most purists.

    In his younger days, he couldn't sell dummies, was too slow, and couldn't tackle or even dribble past an opponent.

    Fergie got rid of him, coz the English press had gone completely gaga over him, and the rest of the lads at United were totally ignored, and sad to say, including S'ralex himself.

    He went to Spain, what did he ever achieve over there, you tell me??

    If truth be told, there are about a dozen products he's attached his image to; so, the higher the profile he generates for himself, the more they can shift in the market....get it, big girls ????

  • Comment number 92.

    wow as a stated United fan, I'm surprised about your dislike for DB....

  • Comment number 93.

    I wasn't a fan of Beckham nor of the idea of MLS to sign him due to the disruption of the strict salary structure that the MLS has. The MLS operates as the only socialist system in the world that works!! I have been impressed by his toughness and dedication over the past 18 months coming back from injury and really finally contributing to his team. He hasn't fundamentally changed the way the sport is viewed here but he did give it some media coverage.

    What continually surprises me is why he is such a polarizing figure in the UK, sure he is a media whore and is concerned about his brand but he has also been a very good player of ManU and England and has always been available to play for his country...and wanted to.

    I wouldn't have said this 18 months ago but I hope he stays in LA for another year or two. I think he is in the "Indian Summer" of his career and going back to Europe just doesn't make sense...he has nothing to prove to anyone...except maybe himself. As for all the fools who love ripping on him. I suggest you look at your current overrated crop of clowns currently on the England squad. Start with Mr. Rooney he just finished ruining your chances for Euro 2012 by being a complete ass in Montenegro. Mr. Terry, a lower class POM can hardly be found, his transgressions are well documented in dozens of newspapers.

    Talentwise, Beckham is much better than what is being produced in England currently. Rio Ferdinand wouldn't be more than average in the MLS. If I were Michael Owen's agent I'd seriously be looking for a tryout in MLS, it might extend his career. Englend fans need to realize that their team is not in the same talent level with Germany, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Holland and probably Italy. Their league is great to watch but how many English player are relevant? I would give the Beckham bashing a break. He gave all he had to the England cause.

  • Comment number 94.

    @ matt-stone

    5x
    00/01 Premier League Manchester United
    98/99 Premier League Manchester United
    98/99 Premier League Manchester United
    96/97 Premier League Manchester United
    95/96 Premier League Manchester United
    1x
    06/07 Primera División Real Madrid
    2x
    98/99 FA-Cup Manchester United
    95/96 FA-Cup Manchester United
    4x
    1998 Community Shield Manchester United
    1997 Community Shield Manchester United
    1995 Community Shield Manchester United
    1994 Community Shield Manchester United
    1x
    03/04 Supercopa Real Madrid
    1x
    2000 FIFA Club-Cup Manchester United
    1x
    98/99 UEFA Champions League Manchester United

    Not bad for a league one player?

    Let me remind you of what happened at Real Madrid

    14th January 2007 - David Beckham's Real Madrid career appeared to be ending in acrimony yesterday as Fabio Capello, the club's head coach, issued an extraordinary statement insisting that Beckham will never again wear the famous white strip of Real Madrid. Beckham was unaware of his coach's comments and immediately reacted with a statement of his own, reiterating his desire to stay with the club until the end of their season.

    9th February 2007 - David Beckham was recalled to Real Madrid's soccer squad, a month after coach Fabio Capello said the midfielder wouldn't play again for the team because of his deal with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

    Real Madrid go on to win the league.

    He has more talent in his LEFT FOOT than you will ever have.

    Quit the hating and enjoy life.

  • Comment number 95.

    82.At 09:45 3rd Nov 2011, FairPlayMotty wrote:
    "proving to be a role model for kids"

    Really, a role model. I don't want my child to be:

    1. constantly craving attention,
    2. almost entirely motivated by PR,
    3. having thrones at her wedding,
    4. naming a child after her shirt number,
    5. covered in tattoos.

    etc. etc.

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    1. Captaining club and country with passion
    2. Conducting himself impeccably amidst public derision
    3. Supporting his country in an ambassadorial role for major events
    4. Supporting numerous charities, raising profile with disregard for personal benefit
    5. Being a doting father and loving husband

    Terrible attributes to be endorsed. I love your list of reasons why he isn't a good role model... I can just see "having a throne at your wedding", "having tattoos", and giving a child an obscure name being right up there with some of the most terrible things a person could do.

    Dear oh dear. Perspective needed.

  • Comment number 96.

    Has anyone got a link to the BBC's guidelines on advertising and air time for Brands. Because this article is just a advertisement for Brand Beckham.

  • Comment number 97.

    There is a guy in Romford who has tattoos of Buckham on both cheeks of his bottom.

  • Comment number 98.

    I cannot believe the negativity around David Beckham from so many people. I have felt the need to sign up just so I can comment. People forget that he has fought back from several points. At Madrid he was dropped out and Capello said he would never play again. What did he do? Did he take the Tevez route? No he got his head down and worked his way back into the team. Interestingly the teams form dipped in this time.
    McClaren dumped him unceremoniously from the England side saying he would never play as was time to look to the future. A lot of players would have moaned and retired from internationals. Look at the England situation we even have players in there 20's retiring from internationals and that is why i think so many of our "stars" play even when off form because we are worried about them retiring.
    What is the harm in Becks saying he still dreams about playing for England? He is not saying he should be and that he is better but surely for someone to still have the hunger after 115 caps this should be commended.
    I for one hope he does at least play in the Olympics. The guy is obviously a great influence in the dressing room and bearing in mind the team is mainly under 23s who better to lead. These players may not have a great deal of international experience as i cannot imagine players going to the Euro's going to the Olympics too. I have watched him playing for the Galaxy a lot this season and he dictates the game from the middle of the park now and does an extremely good job in a league where pace is the most important attribute.
    I have seen people saying the only good moment of his England career was the Greece free kick, which most people would have shyed from anyway but during the Sven reign how many games were we heading towards another drab draw when Becks would either score or more usually cross for Owen to score?
    People saying he never lit up an International tournament. How many England players actually have done so? He was always a top player maybe not in the very best but you only have to look at the teams he has played for to realise he is a very good player.
    There seems to be a mixed up point about him staying on for PR reasons. Surely it is up to him when he retires anyway. As long as he can find a team and enjoy it he is happy to carry on playing. This shows a love of the game. Others lose it over the years and make sure they retire at the top. If Becks was only interested in this then surely he would have done this. He has spoke recently about buying a MLS team%

  • Comment number 99.

    Proverbial Outhouse

    "Just because you hate David Beckham"

    I don't hate David Beckham. I do dislike the BBC's obsession with him and the need to play it out in the sports section. He's celebrity magazine fodder and his football career has been over at the top level for some time. As for the role model garbage, it's frankly ridiculous. He was a good player for Man Utd (though never the best player in the side) and did well for England. So did Scholes and G Neville, where is the constant BBC obsession with them? Or for Giggs and Keane.

    thoughtfulphil

    "Being a doting father and loving husband" You reckon?

  • Comment number 100.

    99.At 10:52 3rd Nov 2011, FairPlayMotty wrote:

    "Being a doting father and loving husband" You reckon?
    --------------------------------------------------------------

    Do you have proof to support your questioning?

    Was that the only thing you could glean from that post?

 

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