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Beckham gambling in Milan

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Phil McNulty | 15:05 UK time, Wednesday, 22 October 2008

David Beckham's proposed move to AC Milan is, by any other name, a trial to discover if he is still fit for purpose as an England player.

AC Milan cannot lose because they get a player who is a consummate professional and will be fiercely driven by a revived ambition to play in a fourth World Cup.

Los Angeles Galaxy cannot lose because their prize asset can polish his craft and keep fit on very public display in one of the toughest leagues in the world.

And England coach Fabio Capello cannot lose because Beckham is removed from the lucrative comfort zone of Major League Soccer and Los Angeles Galaxy and placed in a hugely competitive environment that will deliver a definitive verdict on the state of his game.

In fact, the only part of this footballing equation with anything to lose is Beckham himself.

He has the opportunity to play at the highest level in Serie A and in the Uefa Cup, with the aim of proving he still has what it takes to be a regular part of Fabio Capello's resurgent squad.

Beckham can take his place in a stellar line-up that contains such names as Kaka and Ronaldinho.

But there is also the chance it will expose Beckham to a harsher reality - namely the fact that he no longer has the attributes to make an impact in the international game, thus finishing his England career in short order.

This is the gamble he is prepared to take, no doubt helped by Capello's message that he would not be considered for England's friendly in Spain in February if he was inactive during the MLS close season.

Capello will have given Milan a glowing reference about a player who forced him into a rare u-turn by sheer force of will and form at Real Madrid, and who he has retained in his England squad, albeit on a very limited basis in recent times.

Beckham's brief appearances have edged him towards Bobby Moore's tally of 108 caps, which he will equal if he plays in next month's friendly against Germany.

In England's last four games, he has graced the pitch for a total of 32 minutes, including injury time.


This has led to an outburst of indignation from those who believe the memory of greats like Moore and Sir Bobby Charlton is being besmirched by Beckham picking up cheap caps for cameos.

This is a very valid point, but not actually one I agree with.

The memory of Moore and Charlton is preserved in something far more precious than anything Beckham has at his disposal - namely a World Cup triumph in 1966. When they are recalled, it will be as winners of the Jules Rimet trophy, not by how many caps they collected.

The fact that his temporary move to Italy is an obvious attempt to extend his England career will only enrage them further, but why shouldn't he accept this opportunity?

After observing Capello at close quarters, I can say with absolute certainty that he is not picking Beckham out of the goodness of his heart, or to drag the last dregs of marketing from an iconic figure.

And Beckham is hardly going to refuse Capello's offer of a brief appearance for fear of causing offence.

Capello is cold-eyed, calculating and ruthless. Just ask Michael Owen.

He picks Beckham for England because he feels he has something to offer, presumably as the man who is still the best dead-ball specialist available to him.

Now he needs to know more, and Milan's offer can provide answers with England facing a six-month break from competitive action and Beckham pondering the inaction of an MLS close season.

If Beckham has serious intentions to continue with England, and he has, then he needs to be playing regularly in Milan and showing he still has what it takes away from the lower league standards of the MLS.

This is where this surprise offer of a temporary move comes in - for Beckham, Capello and England.

I have been a critic of Beckham in the past. I have watched his ambitions fall by the wayside in Japan, Portugal and Germany - when he has never left a lasting, positive impact on those major tournaments.

And that fact that he was held in such thrall by Sven-Goran Eriksson and Steve McClaren acted as a shield against the reality that his performances were not good enough.

But I have also watched him act as a superb ambassador for England around the world - an acceptable public face for foreign fans to focus on. He always had time and courtesy for the fans who thronged the camp just for a glimpse of the then England captain.

Beckham also deserves credit for doing what many thought he would be incapable of doing. He has merged into the squad pack and has been happy to take a low-key bit-part after giving up the cherished captain's armband in Baden-Baden in 2006.

When I sat just a few feet away from him at that emotional conference, I never thought for one second he would be in an England's coach's thoughts for the same tournament four years later.

He is in Capello's thoughts - but his stint in Italy will be an acid test for whether he remains there.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Beckham is still a legend wherever he plays..good luck to him in Milan! Shame he'll miss playin Pompey at Fratton Park.

  • Comment number 2.

    Criticised for picking up 'cheap caps'? I would guess that the only people who would seriously peddle this line have an axe to grind, or are jealous (though, to be fair, who isn't!).

    Good luck to Beckham in Italy, still the best passer, crosser and set piece man in the set up - certainly worth a place just at the moment. The pace of that league might suit him too.

    I take issue with Phil's assertion that he has never performed at major championships though. Particularly at the last World Cup he took a lot of unfair stick. I seem to remember that out of the 5 ish(?) goals we scored, he set up/scored 3 or 4.

  • Comment number 3.

    Best of luck to him I say. He is a legend. Who can say they have played for United, Real and Milan in their careers? Not many. Shows how good he is that managers of such high esteem like Ancelotti and Capello still rate him. Milan have one of the best fitness programs and facilities in the world. They have kept ageing greats playing at the highest level, Maldini et al. Look at people like Seedorf, Pirlo, Inzaghi. beckham will thrive there, the pace of Italy should suit him.

    I for one still think he has a lot to offer, even if it is just cameo roles for both club and country. Bringing Beckham off the bench is a luxury tool i'm glad Capello has at his disposal.

    For all those who are whining about him getting more Caps than Moore, Charlton etc need to get a grip. Beckham has achieved a lot as a player that people need to respect. Forget the "sell out" image that he carries, look at his on the field achievements and they are remarkable.

    Good luck to you I say! Forza Milan!

  • Comment number 4.

    I agree with most of this, though not the bit about beckham not contributing in the previous world cups.

    and the beckham critics have nothing to lose anyway. if this proves that beckham is no longer good enough then capello wont pick him. If it proves the opposite then they will have nothing to complain about.

  • Comment number 5.

    good move by Beckham. He is an outstanding professional.

  • Comment number 6.

    Good luck to Beckham in Italy. As Phil says the only possible loser in all this is Beckham himself - oh, and Milan may come out of it a few Euros lighter.

    Beckham is prepared to put his reputation on the line - new country, new language, new league - Serie A may not be quite what it was in the late '90's but some top class players there no doubt.

    He won't fail through lack of effort that's for sure - he's never been quick over the ground, (it's why he's never gone past defenders before crossing) - so he won't miss that edge of pace, besides football in Italy has never been played as frenetically as in the Premiership - so I think he'll do ok there with class players around him...

  • Comment number 7.

    I think fair play to him. He could easily have chosen a soft option, but going to one of the biggest clubs and hardest leagues in the world albeit temporarily is going to be a big challenge. He clearly wants to go to the next world cup and I for one hopes he can show he is worthy of a place. Much maligned in his early days, Beckham has gone on to show he is the consummate professional and is a first class role model for young players in how to conduct themselves.

  • Comment number 8.

    We have a whole bunch of exciting to watch wide boys in Theo, SWP, Drowning, Aaron and Ashley. These boys have pace and skill and get us off our bums to watch. My point however is that if you were a typical forward like Hesky Crouch Rooney etc it is only the delivery that you are after and no amount of razzle in wide positions will get you excited after an hour of failed final balls.
    Now stick Beckham wide whose sole job is to ping the ball across and our attacking boys will always make those runs late in the game because Becks NEVER puts a bad one in. They will continue to attack them because there will always be a chance.
    So to bring Becks on for the last half hour for the next coupe of years if needed will reap more dividends than the sour faced old hacks will ever be prepared to forecast.

  • Comment number 9.

    I think in some ways Beckham probably regrets going to the US. Ok maybe he has raised his profile a little over there, but what has he achieved footbal wise?

    He decided to go to LA when that idiot that is Pedrag Mijatovic told him he wasn't good enough for Real and wouldn't play much again. But then he managed to change the managers mind and I believe that without Becks Real may not have won the league in Becks' last year there. When he got back into the side, he was immense and helped them to find a good run of form.

    He has gone to Milan because he wants to prove that he can still be a force in a top European side and therefore be a justified inclusion in the England squad.

    I also believe that if Mijatovic and co hadn't been so quick to judge then Becks would have stayed at Real and there probably wouldn't be any moaning or discussion about whether he should be picked or not.

    It's a big shame really that one of the most famous and best England players over the last 10 years is not still playing permanently in a team that matches his ability.

    Well good luck to you Becks, I'm sure you'll do a good job and Milan should suit him well as ironWilliamOfOrange mentions earlier. They have a really good record of keeping ageing players around and playing at the top for longer than normal. Plus the Italian league being a bit slower than others will also help.

    I'm sure with this change of scenary Beckham will definitely go on to become the highest capped outfield player in English history and I believe that he deserves it.

  • Comment number 10.

    Top bloke, top player. Regardless of his age he can still whip a decent ball in. Anyone see that ball for Heskey against Kazahkstan, it was put on a plate for him and unlucky not to score. Fair play Beckham, your still trying to show England and the world that you've still got what it takes, and although you were probably the first of the pre-madonnas, you always stayed down to earth and showed us that Football was your first love.
    In my eyes, he is the modern day Moore/Charlton, and deserves everything he gets

  • Comment number 11.

    I think the slower pace of Italian football will suit him. He'll get to spray some passes around, take free kicks and setup goals. That style of football will play to his strengths and keep him in the England team for a while longer. I think Capello is using Beckham very effectively, brining him on late in games to provide killer balls when the opposition are flagging. It just emphasis's what a great coach Capello is. And Milan must see this as a great opportunity to sell Beckham shirts, especially in Asia which is probably untouched by Italian clubs. I can't see any losers in this, not even Becks.

  • Comment number 12.

    I have a sneaky feeling he'll be a success at the San Siro.

    Italian football is still quite slow with an emphasis on technique, something which Beckham still has in abundance.

    Along with Pirlo, Milan now have 2 of the best passers and dead ball specialists in the world in their squad. A certain Ronaldinho takes a decent free kick as well, there are a few arguments in the offing about who will take them!

  • Comment number 13.

    Cymreig Fan in peace

    as ripley11 says (and i agree) Becks isn't going to skin a defender for pace before whipping in a deadly cross 'cos he's never done it before, even when he was 20! his job is always to put in the perfect delivery, be it from cross or dead ball. i think it would make interesting viewing to have a look at the stats for how many goals Beckham has set up over his England career and compare that to other players!
    one final point, who would you prefer over a free kick in front of goal, out of the current England squad...Beckham?
    thought so!

  • Comment number 14.

    As a Man Utd fan, i've always been a huge Beckham admirer, not only for his work with man u, but for the sheer passion, pride and enthusiasm he has put in for England over the last decade despite the times he has been treated badly by Hoddle and McLaren he has outlasted them all. And now, he's willing to take a risk by joining Milan, after all theres no guarantee he's going to play that often, just so he can continue playing a bit part role for England, a role that some players haven't been prepared to do!

  • Comment number 15.

    One thing this move shows is that Beckham knows he needs to keep playing to ensure Capello does not leave him out of the squad - and that he genuinely believes he has a chance of making England's squad for the 2010 World Cup.

    And on a point made by an earlier poster, I also wonder whether Beckham now feels he was too hasty in heading for Los Angeles.

    If AC Milan want him now, then they would certainly have wanted him when he decided to move to MLS.

    In terms of his England career, he could have made a better move.

  • Comment number 16.

    A few bit part appearances at the end of his International does not diminish the achievement. He has been a major player for all his career and accepting a bit part now is actully admirable. he can't run for 90 minutes, nor does he have the pace to go by defenders but at crunch time when you need a level head on the pitch to mount a comeback or deliver that incisive pass, knock in a late free kick, is there anyone better. The committment this guy has shown is and example to all the youngsters around him and if he wants (I suspect he does), he WILL coach England one day. Good luck to you Becks, you've never been the quickest nor the most skilled but you have always been effective at what you do and many coaches have taken note of that.

  • Comment number 17.

    A little surprised the Galaxy went for it - the chances of injury are not small.

    But good luck to him, he cares about playing for his country and wants to stay in the frame.

  • Comment number 18.

    You looking at Beckham Mr. Carragher? You are such a baby.

  • Comment number 19.

    Just what, precisely, is Beckham gambling? His reputation as a footballer? His money?
    I'm sure a lot of footballers would jump at the chance to pop off to Milan to train/play/go shopping. Perhaps 'er poshness had something to do with the decision.
    Yes, he probably won't be remembered in such high esteem or affection as the 'Two Bobbies' but you cannot argue that the guy has done pretty much everything that a footballer can do and, as has been pointed out, he has been a fine ambassador for football and for England; furthermore, as long as he can ping that ball with pinpoint accuracy into the box (and Bentley, Lennon, SWP and Walcott can't) then why shouldn't Capello give him a cameo role?

  • Comment number 20.

    So Phil, you don't like him. He must be distraught. Bobby Moore didn't win the World Cup on his own, if memory serves. I don't think Beckham will be too bothered what journos think. Some people do it, others write (nonsense) about it. On that note, I'm off out........

  • Comment number 21.

    well done to him, i give him a lot of respect for him trying himself in a tough league at the end of his career, hope him all the success as he comes accross as a nice family man

  • Comment number 22.

    Not sure why phil thinks LA Galaxy have nothing to lose. Beckham could easily get injured. I can only imagine they think that his playing for Milan validates their investment, and hence raises their profile - otherwise it seems a pretty dangerous deal from their point of view to me. The biggest winners, and I speak as a fan, are Milan - even if he doesn't get picked, the shirt sales alone will be a tremendous pick-up.

  • Comment number 23.

    I think the problem that clouds people judgement and I have to admit has done my own too has been his insatiable appetite for more and more fame. How much do you need? But you really do have to give kudos to the bloke for not letting that same ego come into his role as a footballer.

    Many others with less pedigree have thrown their toys out of the pram at not being a regular feature in the team whereas he genuinely has just got on with it. He has been one of the few players for England who has really seemed to care and even if his actual talent has been somewhat blown out of proportion he has proved many times that he is willing to get stuck in when it looks like all hope is lost like at Real when he was told his playing days were over there.

    Unfortunately all of this great attitude may prove completely irrelevant due to the fame move to LA. Even if he does really well at Milan but still has to go back to Galaxy this will be near the World Cup when playing in the US league surely wouldn't warrant the inclusion of even a personality as big as his.

  • Comment number 24.

    Good point well made.

    In an era of mediocre players announcing their international retirement (I always thought you had to be selected, anyway) it's good to see someone still desperate to play for his country.
    I know the cynics will say it's for the fame or for the record most caps or to get away from Posh, but anyone who has seen the effort that he has put in whenever he plays for England knows he is sincere in his motives.
    Good on him, and to his knockers can't you just crawl into your holes and be miserable and negative together. I bet none of you have ever achieved anything, because to do so you need to put yourself out there with a chance to fail.

  • Comment number 25.

    The gamble for Beckham is that his dream of playing in another World Cup could be in ruins if he does not deliver in Milan.

    As for Pommie60 - where do I say I do not like him? I said I had been a critic in the past, but also that I have respect for his ability to adapt to becoming a squad member and state what a superb ambassador he has been for England.

  • Comment number 26.

    beckham has 17 goals and 34 assists for england, so in other words if they were all in seperate games which ok they probably wernt, he has had a major impact in 51 games!

    and if he can continue that record of a major impact in 47.65% of the games he plays the why shouldnt he play???

    ok charlton and moore may have a better record than that if you work it out but they aint playin now are they?

    apart from francis jeffers with his 1 goal in 1 game and theo walcott with his like 4 goals in 6 games who else has a better record? the answer is no one!

  • Comment number 27.

    I've never particularly liked Beckham, but in an era when footballers insult their country by retiring from their national team as soon as they're not first pick, you can't fault his dedication to England, and for that I have a lot of respect for him.
    He could happily sit at home in his LA mansion....

  • Comment number 28.

    What a vain, self indulging, self important,
    con this man has become. He was mildly talented at Man U., but he managed to reinvent himself with an even less talented wife. Beckham thinks he is the P Diddy of football and maybe he is, the same approach to his career, greed! greed! me! me! me! One trick ponies that depend on a tired unimaginative approach to their careers. The Hype far outweighs the end product! How can this man be called legendary when footballers such as Zola, Cantona, Berkamp, and Henry played during the same era, he was second rate at best and the media selected him as did his PR machine. This is football not fashion you pratt Beckham, take your squeaky ladyboys voice and join Milan to sell a few more jerseys and launch your perfume, you are not there because of football ability!

  • Comment number 29.

    I think Beckham will do satisfactorily.

    I've got to think there are things we don't know, Becks going to an Italian team, Capello his old coach from Real picking him to the surprise of many, his coach an Italian and now, David off to AC Milan. His role should mirror that of being with England, a super sub and there are of course, commercial considerations too. Good Luck! Mate!

  • Comment number 30.

    McNulty is spot on when he says, "I have watched his ambitions fall by the wayside in Japan, Portugal and Germany - when he has never left a lasting, positive impact on those major tournaments."

    This, for me, is why he can never be considered one of the true England greats. Regardless of the amount of caps he earns -which, incidently, is an absolute farce at the moment.

    When was the last time Beckham played well in a game that mattered? I'd have to say that famous Greece game - which he has been living off ever since.

    I would say best of luck in Milan since I do quite like Becks, but if he was to perform well then that would mean he would continue earning these cheap caps and wasting good talent in Ashley Young et al, and I do not want that to happen I'm afraid.

  • Comment number 31.

    He will bring the average age of the AC team DOWN if nothing else , he will do fine in Italy

  • Comment number 32.


    What a splendid way to make a convincing argument about Beckham's footballing abilities. You slag off the man's wife, poke fun at his voice, and resort to calling him names.
    I think I'll defer to the opinions of some of the top managers of the era when it comes to Beckhams footballing ability. I don't think Ferguson and Capello (for club and country) picked him because of how fragrant he was.

  • Comment number 33.

    Beckham became an Icon because of his hard work , hours and hours of crossing balls and taking free kicks .Remember when he and Johnny Wilkinson met up and both discovered how much practice they both put in at virtually the same thing.Most of the criticsm seems to come from who he married someone who at the time was probably more famous and richer than him at the time.Yet they are still together with their family despite a lot of negative press that surely speaks for his commitment in and out of football.He did make a mistake (football wise) of going LA but i think promises were made to him that may not have been realistic but do you hear him complain.
    So now when he has won almost every title in club football in England,Europe and Spain he is now going to Italy how many English players have been deemed good enough to do so ...not many.If he is at fit as he looks and practices hard with his new team-mates then he could well succeed again and good luck to him and as for England wasn't it Clough who said it only takes a minute to score a goal so if he is only making cameo's so what.

  • Comment number 34.

    Really not impressed by this article. The idea that people are enraged by Beckham getting more caps than Moore or Charlton is rubbish. Its only the media that bother creating this 'story'. Firstly Moore and Charlton played in an era when there were no substitutions. And its not like Beckham is buying his way in. He is being picked whether you like it or not.

    The insight that Capello is actually not picking Beckham due to some inside goodness is a staggeringly pathetic point. Do you need to be at close quarters to know this? Its a laughable statement.

    And LA Galaxy can lose in this deal. Beckham can get injured.

  • Comment number 35.

    Londonsfinest,bitter and twisted or what? Who else has done as much not just for football but for other sports as well? Remember the 2002 Commonwealth Games, the London Olympic Bid, even the Beijing Closing Ceremony? Ok so its no big deal to givew a few hours of time and get publicity but what about all the unseen stuff in the background. I'm a great fan of Bobby C and Booby M but the world was different then.
    I say good on yer Becks, keep playing the beautiful gamne as long as you can!

  • Comment number 36.

    I do agree that this will be a very tough test for beckham as he must prove himself for Capello to pick him in the next few games at least let alone the world cup.

    However when people are naming his recent matches for England as 'cheap caps' it is infuriating. Who has the right to label someones performances for England as cheap? His attitude towards football is sublime, proven with his La Liga title and the work he put in to still be in the England squad. Are players meant to refuse caps if they are on the subs bench? No, it is an honour to play for your country no matter for how long.

    Even though it was only 32 minutes out of four mathces in which he has been on the field, i believe he has shown why he is still regarded as the best deadball player in the world. As well as this when he comes on he performs crosses that no one else in the entire England camp can do and gives opportunities to forwards such as Heskey.

    I am not just trying to glorify Beckham but merely show that comments made about him are usually due to jealousy, or the fact that he can still out perform at times younger members of the squad who play for the teams they support.

    As for 'Londonsfinestclub' who believes thaty beckham is in it to sell more shirts. Have you not realised that players are paid a set wage every week or month and it doesnt matter whether or not you sell shirts? If anything you should redirect that knock to AC Milan as they could be seen to do this for marketing purposes.

    Please correct me if you think im wrong but i would like to end this comment with the fact that no one else in the England squad can rival the effort and desire to play for his country as Beckham does. No one is as proud as he is every match to be able to perform a service to England.

  • Comment number 37.

    I love reading these blogs they are always brillaint and well thought out. I think Beckhams move will be a success, he is determined to prove himself and I think not being the only superstar will help him. Has Beckham ever really failed? He has been unlucky to be injured at big tournaments with England and its not his fault that the WHOLE country relied on him to win us the world cup. I dont however think he is good enough to start for England anymore but I believe he is miles better then the likes of Downing, Bentley and Lennon. I think Beckham is an absolute legend and this could be the perfect end to his career, a shame he didnt end it at Forest!!!

  • Comment number 38.

    Another episode in the shameless promotion of Brand Beckham. Was a decent player in his day but last made a meaningful contribution to an international at Old Trafford against Greece.

  • Comment number 39.

    Whilst his lifestyle may have upset some people, and I certainly smile at some of the pairs antics, how anyone can doubt his talent as a footballer is beyond me.
    The man is a model professional, dedicated to his art, and passionate about England. He is pursuing an England place through desire, not the extra money. And Capello certainly won't play him if he doesn't think Beckham can do a job for the team.
    Remember how Beckham single handedly rescued us against Greece. Not that free kick, but his sheer desire communicated itself to the team. After that one performance I forgave him the Argentinian debacle.
    Take away the envy that people have of him. What are you left with.
    A good family man, a long time celebrity marriage, an ambassador for whichever club he has played for, a man who stood down as Captain of his country for the good of the team, a man who never complains but gets on and makes the best of things, a dedicated professional, one of the finest footballers this country has ever produced (hence so many caps), and someone who actually seems to be a nice guy. Add in that he is good looking, rich..... ok, I can see why some people are jealous lol.
    And finally, who said he will get into the Milan team? More like supersub probably.

  • Comment number 40.

    He's past it. Has been for years. Should be turfed out. Wont be.
    Look no further as to reason for Englands pathetic performances in last six years.
    All fur coat and no knickers.

  • Comment number 41.

    I agree with most of what you have written, but strangely disagree with your main premise, that this move constitutes a gamble for Beckham. On the contrary I think this is the only way of achieving his main goal, to go on playing for England at the next world cup. To be idle during the American off-season and then just playing for L.A., that would have been a gamble because the likelihood is that Capello would have lost faith in him. Going to Milan means that his destiny is in his own hands, either he will make the grade or he will not. Either way, it should be fairly obvious to the most blinkered in either camp.

  • Comment number 42.

    Decent article. However, it is easy to pick out Beckham for sub-par performances, when England, as a whole, have performed below par in the major tournaments. One player playing well cannot carry a team that don't play well. Gerrard, Lampard and plenty of others can easily be picked out suffering from alleged Beckhamitis.

    I am a Beckham fan. Great pro, great footballer, impeccable when off-the-pitch. I truly hope he proves all the doubters wrong, and graces Serie A.

  • Comment number 43.

    Some people like to bash beckham because of his bewildering lifestyle, but how many other English players are off plying their trades in other countries, giving 100% all the time, training so much to perfect their skills? i respect him for how he has not been content to sit in the EPL, but has gone off abroad. If more players would do that, you may see them mature a bit more and start performing for the national team.

  • Comment number 44.

    It may be great to have a couple of fast wingers like Wallcott and Wright-Phillips, but am i correct in thinking that both have to run at people and quite often run into dead ends, When Beckham came on, suddenly, by staying wide, he had the space and time to whip very accurate crosses across the goal,
    With an Owen or even a slightly luckier Heskey in the centre, I dread to think what the score might have been.
    Was my impression wrong,

  • Comment number 45.

    Beckham should retire gracefully and England should start looking beyond him. Let's face it, England won nothing with a Beckham who was top of his game and one of the best in his day. Going forward there is nothing he really has to offer. Learn from Raul and Spain. I for one would not like to see this elegant footballer embarrass himself on the big stage. I have seen many a star who, late in their careers, you really don't want to see them play but you can't look away either.. Hope he moves on, and England moves on to achieve great things.

  • Comment number 46.

    Becks is or at least was a very good footballer. What annoys me is the myth that he was a "consummate proffesional" as Phil says. His name can hardly be mentioned in the media without someone telling us he always gave everything for his country etc. This simply isn't true.

    Here are the facts regarding his England career at the highest level i.e. major tournaments
    1998 - We looked the much more likely winners against Argentina until his stupid sending off. (let me add in fairness that the following season he was magnificent for Man. Utd. and totally won me over with his attitude and great play. It was by far the best he ever played over a sustained period. Unfortunately he got married the following summer and I believe that his attitude to himself and football changed for the worse at that point)
    2000 - England were poor and didn't get out of the group but this was not Becks fault - probably his best tournament though he wasn't special.
    2002 - declared himself fit when he wasn't. Understandable (in his mind he probably thought we couldn't do without him) but hardly the act of a "consummate pro" and Captain. He scored a penalty, big deal for him because it was against Argentina, but not really a moment of greatness.
    More importantly he jumped out of that tackle v Brazil when he was lazily shepherding the ball out of play and they kept the ball in and scored the equaliser. If he'd commited himself to the challenge he'd have got to the ball first and we would have won a free kick, throw in or whatever. Bottling a tackle is not the mark of any professional footballer, let alone the England captain. I need hardly add how poor he was in general play, he just wasn't fit.
    2004 - Given what happened in 2002 you'd think that Becks would do everything to make sure he was at his absolute best at the next tournament.
    Instead he turned up a stone overweight and was if anything even less effective and certainly even more snail-like than in 2002. His expert PR machine delivered a low key statement after the tournament when the anti-Erikkson backlash was in full swing and it was quickly forgotten (or brushed over depending on whether you think the pro-Beckham agenda in the media is a conspiracy of vested interests or just lazy sheeplike journalism - take your pick).
    His excuse. He'd had a "hard time" dealing with the fallout from the Rebecca Loos affair and had been taking out his frustrations by pushing iron in the gym - he "didn't realise" he'd bulked up by a whole stone (that's 6kg kids). This to my mind is the key indictment against him. Totally unacceptable from any "professional" footballer let alone the England captain who'd let his country down 2 years before (and in 1998). This is NEVER mentioned in the media now. Not only was his general play awful but he couldn't even mange to score from the penalty spot.
    2006 - more or less a passenger in open play, but scored a nice free kick.

    Just to finish.
    Statistics can be used in many ways, mostly to peddle junk. Beckham's 17 goals and 34 assists is a case in point. How many assists/goals from open play in 107 appearances? Look at the huge proportion of goals scored from set plays in the Premier league and international football, especially from "functional" teams as England have been throughout Beckham's career (except under Hoddle and Capello). As Beckham took every free kick and corner for virtually his whole England career, as well as quite a few penalties, this stat only tells me that we didn't score that many goals from set plays (1/3 goal per game or less depending on how many assists/goals he did manage from open play) so (perhaps) this stat says more about the frequency with which he failed to get the ball past the first defender at corners than about his set-play brilliance.

    Right, that'll do.
    Nice bloke, good footballer, yes.
    Great example/ consummate pro.
    Frayed knot!

  • Comment number 47.

    Beckham was England's best player of the last ten years.

    But that's past.

    Now he's good for a role on the subs bench in case we're a goal down and we get a free kick near the box with 15 mins left.

    So he still has a worthwhile place in the squad. But no longer in the 11.

  • Comment number 48.

    For me this guest / celebrity loan thing (eg Beckham, Larsson) is a farce and misuse of what may once have been a well-intentioned last resort option for clubs.

    Unfair on other clubs in the same league and competitions.

    Re write the rules !

    Mr Blatter - what do you think ?

  • Comment number 49.

    David Haskins - "a man who stood down as captain of his country for the good of the team"? Whatever gave you the idea that the England captaincy was Beckham's personal property until he "resigned"?

    As for statistics, check out how many failed free-kick attempts Beckham had in the game against Greece before the goal.

  • Comment number 50.

    All Milan are looking for is extra sales of their kits. It is all upto Beckham to keep going.

  • Comment number 51.

    As for statistics, check out how many failed free-kick attempts Beckham had in the game against Greece before the goal.

    How many do the likes off superstars in there 'prime' like ronaldo hit it against the wall before 'that' goal against portsmouth.

  • Comment number 52.

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

  • Comment number 53.

    Fergie dumped him when he realised Beckham was more interested in his "image" than knuckling down to the job of getting the most of his undoubted talent. Beckham peaked as a footballer in 1998-9 (see my previous post). Since then he's been bought by clubs interested in his image/shirt selling abilities as much as for his skills as a footballer.

  • Comment number 54.

    This is a good balanced blog entry Phil. The thing with Beckham is that he loves wearing the shirt. Always has. And that means a lot to the average England fan. It wasn't that long ago that club factions in the dressing room were detrimental to the international team. And Beckham, and to some extent Eriksson alleviated that. We England fans put up with a lot, not least current pros saying that club football is more important, that England fans are all southerners and support lower league teams (I live in the north east and am an England Fans member, as is my son. Oh, and I support Newcastle...). Yet here is Beckham fighting for a place and going to Milan to pit himself against the very best. And that is to be applauded. Too many times we hear players retiring from England to concentrate on club football. How can you turn your back on playing for England?
    Beckham can still be a class act and can make a massive difference to the squad, and can come on for 15-20 mintes at the end and do a job.
    My son wore his Beckham 7 shirt to the Israel game last year. He wore it with pride, as does Beckham.

  • Comment number 55.

    chrismull82,we have long memories actually.We remember a player so pointlessly hyped that he was given virtual free reign under Eriksson to do as he wished-and how he exploited that indulgence.Infested the whole WAG culture on the england set-up,considered himself untouchable,demanded special treatment over and above that of the other players-amny of whom he isnt fit to lick the feet of as a footballer.

    Failed in 5 tournaments to remotely justify the hype placed on him by those "new" to our game who didnt understand just what a limited and non-consequential player this was at the highest level.Laucnhed an era where a player can be given jobs he has no right to or no skill for just because of their overgrown celebrity.Never a captain in a million years,fergie could have told you that.Never a penaly taker in a million uears and how we paid for that in the end.Never a player capable of hurting the best nations and one that will go down as having his "best" game in a qualifier on his home pitch 7 years ago where he hit 1 set-play right from 7 chances.Rooneys display v belarus was on a different level to anything Beckhams ever reached yet will rooney attempt to live off that for he next 7 years like Beckhams tried to off his greek qualifer?You must be joking,Rooney-unlike the uniquely overhyped Beckham-is the genuine article.

  • Comment number 56.

    This is purely a business deal and nothing more. Milan gain publicity, sell some shirts and sell out the San Siro against the smaller teams (which they usually fail to do) while Beckham, as someone mentioned on here before, makes use of the best fitness facilities in the game and stays in contention for England.
    While I admire him as a professional I don't rate him as a player as he is clearly way past his best. He can take a free kick, yet he won't get anywhere near one as Pirlo and Ronaldinho are far better and despite peoples opinions of Serie A being slow, you only need to watch it to realise it is still far to quick for him.
    I agree that Beckham is the only one that can lose as despite how much Milan are paying him, the money he generates will more than cover it. Still, as a Milan fan, i'm not happy with this deal and I honestly believe that Beckham will show just how much he has deteriorated as a player and will completely flop in Serie A.

  • Comment number 57.

    Re post 18 - speak up, Paul Scholes didn't hear you!

  • Comment number 58.

    hes passed it and has been for a while, he shouldnt even be near consideration for england.

  • Comment number 59.

    you dont get over 100 caps for being crap. he still has something to offer in certain situations, good luck to him and this just confirms his work ethic
    As for cheap caps, come on idiots, every player starts his international career as a bit part player, coming on as sub here and there, you want to take them off everybody?
    Sorry son you only played the last 15 mins and scored the winner give us that cap back as i doesnt count !!!!

  • Comment number 60.

    Good Luck Beckham...A true professional and a role model for not only footballers but everyone...

  • Comment number 61.

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

  • Comment number 62.

    a model of how to cream off massive wages from a team,ruin them completely,then slink off with your swag and sign and eran from someone else?Why doesnt he show some shame and recognition of how poor a job hes done at la galaxy and hand back say $10 million which is nothing to him and they can spend that topping up the pay of the minimum wage players who have found out what a toatl fraud this player is on the actua football field.

  • Comment number 63.

    Why does everyone go on about the average age of the Milan team.

    Abbiati 31
    Jankulovski 31
    Zambrotta 31
    Kaladze 30
    Nesta 32
    Gattuso 30
    Pirlo 29
    Kaka 26
    Ambrosini 31
    Pato 19
    Borriello 26

    Which gives an average age of 28.7

    and with a number of quality players on the bench of various ages from 19 to 40. I would say its a mixed squad with experience and quality plus youth and if Beckham can make it into the starting XI then good luck to him otherwise he will be on the bench with alot of other quality players.

    Forza Milan

  • Comment number 64.

    man utd wouldnt have had the guy anywhere near their side for over half a decade yet milan have signed him.What does this say about them?are they now over as a serious big name club?are they merely interested in marketing opportunities and not serious football?Is italian football now really that poor that a player who cant even impact the MLS league is now acceptable to be tried in serie a?

  • Comment number 65.

    Brilliant, clear, incisive and informative blog, or article. I agree with every word - and so would every football follower who has appreciated David Beckham since his England career started. It's a shame he didn't do a Gazza and play for Rangers for his final few years rather than decamping to L.A.

  • Comment number 66.

    its a shame he didnt do a gazza and have a left foot,an outisde of a right foot,a head,an ability to take on players,an ability to imapct a major tournament,an ability to score for england at wembley,an ability to score a goal from open play in 5 tournaments....shall we go on?

  • Comment number 67.

    I'm struggling to see where even Beckham has a chance of losing out with this move?

    If he didn't move to Milan in this loan period, then he would stay at LA Galaxy and end up playing no football in the close season, miss out on the Spain friendly and no doubt more competitive football with England in the future as a result.

    His chances of playing for England in the next World Cup are no different whether he fails at Milan or stays at LA Galaxy, therefore he has nothing to lose either by attempting it.

    Also on the point of the 'cameo' caps for England - (I obviously can't be sure), but I'm sure the likes of Moore and Charlton would have obtained some England caps due to substitutions later on in their careers. It is very rare for an aging football great who plays for his country, to start every game he gains a cap in.

    That plus the fact that if England had qualified for the recent Euro's, Beckham would have no doubt passed the milestones by now anyway.

    Good luck to Beckham at Milan, and if he can prove that he still has what it takes then awesome - if not, then it's hardly the worst experience a player can have in his career at the age of 33

  • Comment number 68.

    Some of the people on this page or nutjobs. Beckham is a legend. How many people on here saw Charlton / Moore play...few. He's been the best passer in the world for the last decade, and will continue to be until the day he retires. People going on about his age and fitness...isn't he about 33? That is by no means too old, there are players in the England squad and many other International squads of that age. Some people at the beginning of the blog saying he's being used wisely by Capello at the end of games...YES! But maybe he should even start with Becks, and use the likes of Walcott/SWP etc. to run at the tired defences in the closing stages? Swap them at half time or something! Few countries in the world have a passer of Beckhams ability, (obviously with the likes of Pirlo and Xabi Alonso coming close,) but many have quick confident young players with little else, like Walcott. So I say use the advantage we have been given by David Beckham. His effort is unquestioned and he will stay fit and prepared, so as long as other players can still be playing at 33, Becks can too. Legend. If he can get more caps by going to Milan, good luck to him. He deserves all the caps he gets...just ask Bobby Charlton.

  • Comment number 69.

    And some chap earlier arguing that he'd done little for England football team referring to France 98 etc?


  • Comment number 70.

    #59 mankyblue

    You can get 100 caps if you are c**p.

    if u are a bbc commentator!

  • Comment number 71.

    Another thing - to those who doubt why Milan have taken this opportunity, I put this to you...

    Regardless of whether or not Beckham has made an impression at the MLS or not - how often does Beckham have a poor game? He's always there putting passes through whether they're at his top quality best or not. Part of the reason he's not shining at present is because he's 1 part of an 11 strong team on the day that play poorly.

    Milan have clearly thought about the following facts in making this decision:

    a) Serie A is a LOT less paced than that of the Premier League and even the MLS - therefore Beckham's style of play fits in just great

    b) Not only do they get a player with almost unrivaled abilities in playing a football, but they get a player that day in, day out can help out the younger and in some cases older stars of the Milan team. Whether that be experiences, personality or technical and non-technical abilities.

    c) They obtain a player that, as Capello has showed, gives the option of a number of quality balls into the box late on in a game and a master of dead ball situations.

    d) On top of the above, you get a player that knows this is the case and has a massive drive to find the top of his game over the next 2 years.

  • Comment number 72.

    5TournamentFloplegend (who it seems, incidently, has created a profile named so based on wanting to comment negatively on Beckham) - you are a disgrace of an England fan.

    How can you belittle a performance such of that against Greece? Are you discounting the rest of the performance from his failed set pieces? How many player get a couple of set pieces in a game and convert them? And how many of them take the pressure of a last minute free kick, with major competition qualification in the balance and stick them away, also considering the amount of pressure that was on him after the completely disgraceful media over the years previous to it?

    How can you say he is not a worthy captain? The only two reasons he wasn't a captain at Man Utd was a) he'd already half fallen out with Fergie and b) Roy Keane was at Man Utd at the time.

    Unbelievable. You should be ashamed.

  • Comment number 73.

    My family and I wish David and his family all the blessings they could hope for in Italy.

    It is all coming together for him and when this happens to people who have acquitted themselves well in life there are sometimes some who envy and who harbour a secret hope that the individual will fall flat on their face.

    Such sentiments would come from those who do not appreciate that the maestro still has 3 or 4 more years left to his playing days. Hopefully those years will include spells with Milan, England and one more season with Manchester United.

    We are not really that bothered by the number of caps - and probably deep in his heart David isn't so bothered about it either. It is to be hoped that his thoughts, dreams and aspirations lie elsewhere - with his Academy, charity work, as an Ambassador for sport in economically impoverished countries and as a future Minister for Sport in a British Government of whatever political persuasion.

    Good on you David. We wish you & yours well!

  • Comment number 74.

    With respect, I believe you mean to say "were" and not "was" in the following sentence.
    This is the gamble he is prepared to take, no doubt helped by Capello's message that he would not be considered for England's friendly in Spain in February if he was (WERE) inactive during the MLS close season.

  • Comment number 75.

    I am not a fan of Beckham.

    However for all his extravagence off the pitch, one cannot question his commitment on it. And his love for his country.
    Their might be some small ulterior motives, such as the record caps but I do believe this is not his reason for wanting to play for England at his age.

    If all players had his professionalism (not lifestyle of course) and dedication to playing for his country, that country, no matter which one would be brilliant.

    Fair play to him for trying.
    And he is one of the few English, British, Irish to actually try another league.
    Not like Robbie Keane and co who couldn't last 1 month in a foreign country.

  • Comment number 76.

    I am a scottish fan and i think that Beckham still has one of the best deliveries in the game. He is a legend in English football without a doubt.

    I think Phil's comments about him in m ajor tournaments is unfair. He has performed well in nearly all that he has been in. The team performed under par (compared to the medias depictation of world beaters).

    Most other bloggers agree that he supplied most of the goals in the past few and i think like others that he still has something to offer in the final 30 mins of matches. The dignity he has shown since he was dropped as captain is amazing. Most players of the modern era would have quit by now but Beckham has behaved admirably.

    I hope he does well in Milan. I reckon that a few years ago i would not have said this but he has impressed me with his attitude towards the beautiful game in recent years.

  • Comment number 77.

    I would like to register my agreement with a sentiment recorded in Comment 76. The writer has used the word 'dignity' with reference to how David has conducted himself. yes, this is exactly so.

    One small aside ... I believe there are one or two Fashion Houses in Milan ... I expect the whole family will settle down very easily! Wonderful!

  • Comment number 78.

    this country never recognises when we have true world class talent , not just sport , anything . The guy is wanted by AC Milan , has the biggest contract in the footballing world , has won all there is to win , his passing is effortless , as simple as that and anyone who has actually played in a team as opposed to watching it on tv would know that a player like Beckham on the piece is priceless and anyone who thinks he's past it has probably been saying that for 5 years lol ...morons.......keep knocking the guy , im sure he feeds off it.....

  • Comment number 79.

    Milan fashion houses, I pity their staff.

  • Comment number 80.

    Beckham has continued to be one of football's greatest player's over the last 15 years. You don't get to spend almost your entire career at the world's two biggest club's ( Man U, Real Madrid ) if you can't play a bit. This is a fantastic opportunity for Beckham to show he can still cut it at the top, as well as a great opportunity for Milan who in my opinion will have a player who is still the best crosser of a ball in world football as well as the best dead ball specialist

  • Comment number 81.

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

  • Comment number 82.

    If I recall correctly, Beckham was discarded by both Man U and Real Madrid. What are the odds on a treble?

  • Comment number 83.

    BECKHAM is one out of million God creature.
    people, i want you to look back to what david has achieved both on and off the field.
    am not realy a big fan of football soccer player, i love to watch footbal day and night, i think beckham is football, his life is football, he is doing what is doing for his country, not for a crazy record, not for money, number 7 shirt, not becuse of world cup or any history. one thing i know is that, in the next 20years there will be no other david beckham, because everything he touches is gold. he is GOD MADE. GOD BLESS HIM.

  • Comment number 84.

    There is not one word in this article that I disagree with. It sums up my opinions whole-heartedly.

    You've summed up Capello's reasoning for picking Beckham perfectly, he isn't being picked for his name or his experience alone, but for the fact that he still can do a job.

    You mentioned Michael Owen, I am so pleased that Capello has seen the light and left him out.

    McClaren and Sven had far too much respect for the players, and I was skeptical that Capello could potentially be of the same elk. However, so far he seems very logical and straight talking. He sees sense.

    Long may it continue!

  • Comment number 85.

    And one wonders why England and david have not delivered, are you people delusional.

  • Comment number 86.

    comments that sum up the bizarre and never ending cult that is beckham."im not really a soccer fan but hinks becks is great-a legend"-sums it up perfectly.And someone mentioned bobby charlton-sir i really dont think you waana know what cahrlton realy thinks about such a nothing player like Beckham passing his caps record.Beckham is without question the most farcically and pointlessly overhyped sportsman of the last 100 years-and thats no exaggeration.Always found out and exposed at the highest level,his passing was so techiniquely inept it was embarassing to watch at times.Throughly useless while at madrid-took them from european champions to european clowns.Thorupughly useless at la galaxy where hes turned them into the worst side in america.Thouroughly useless whenevr faced with ateam that knows how to defend laughbly child-like one trick ponies like him.What a waste of hot air over nothing reamotely special.Its almost unvelievable that we have just seen from Rooney a display of a quality Beckham could never dream of achieveing yet were still forced to hear non stop about this pointless show puppy whos biggest target when he was playing for england was to run as fast as he could to try and get in on other players goal celebrations-thats his "legacy".What a contemptable farce.

  • Comment number 87.

    I agree with Comment # 9 by pjlyle.

    I would like to add that the catalyst for Real Madrid treating Becks shabbily was to get him to renew his contract with Real on the cheap. If you remember, Becks was paying his own salary at Real and more. The financial gain for Real was immense - the extra revenue generated by Becks paid for the salaries of at least 3 other Galacticos of the calibre of Robinho, Ronaldo, etc.

    I personally think it's all Steve McClaren's fault. After Becks stepped down at England captain, Steve McClaren did the stupidest politically motivated decision, i.e. to not include Becks in the England setup and umbrella-boy had the gumption to do it in such a publicly manner in a press briefing and he made it clear that it was not for footballing reasons. Look where it got McClaren - the sack. If Becks had been in the England setup - even as a squad member, England would surely have gotten enough points to qualify for Euro2008. All the great players in the world (past and present) were baffled by this decision. Some Brazilian stars made public comments to that effect. McClaren had to make a 180 degree U-turn in an attempt to save his own backside. Credit to Becks that he put country before what would have been justifiable contempt for saccarine smiley umbrella-boy McClaren.

    Going back to the initial removal from the England setup by that idiot McClaren, it really devastated Becks. It simply destroyed him and it showed. To make matters worse for Becks, Real Madrid just changed club presidents and the new chap was a greedy #@?% and tried to capitalise on the the terrible low that Becks must have felt to twist Beck's arm to get him to agree to sign an extension to his contract at much reduced terms. When Becks would not cooperate they tried Idiot McClarens' tactics of freezing him out of the Real first team and tried to shame him and made him play in the reserves. They even got Capello to ostracise poor Becks. Any other bloke would have cracked under the psychological pressure being applied on Becks.

    Then to the surprise of everyone, Becks showed the world the financial powerhouse that he is and pulled out the fantastic LA Galaxy deal that infuriated the Real hierarchy and Becks was told by Capello (of all people) that he would never play for the Real Madrid first team again in the remaining 6 months of his contract. Capello's reasoning was that a player who has signed such a fantastic deal after Real had treated him so badly would not be commited to the cause. Such thinking by Capello is justifiable (even though one suspects that it was done on the instigation of the Real hierarchy). Remember William Gallas at Chelsea - he threatened to score an own goal if he did not get his way; or Berbatov behaviour at Tottenham. Did Becks react like that - not at all - Becks showed that he is the consummate professional and continued working hard in training and in the reserve games till Capello was brave enough to swallow his words and use Becks undoubted talent to help win the league title. Of course Capello was sacked immediately after (revenge by the small minded Real hierarchy???). You would also remember that all Becks' team mates at Real petition for Becks to play in the first team.

    A further point on the fact that Beck's time at Real Madrid coincided with their drought of titles till Becks' last season. I feel that Becks got blamed unfairly. If you remember, when Becks jooined Real, Makalele left for Chelsea because he felt that he wasn't being appreciated enough or paid enough. Makalele was crucial to the Galacticos setup in Real. Zinedine Zedane said that with Makalele playing behind him, he had the confidence to go forward and attack. With 6 attacking Galacticos, Makalele was indispensable. He gave superb cover. See what happened at Chelsea - with Makalele, Chelsea became a force to reckoned with. Coupled with the fact that the other Galacticos were waning and Zidane close to hanging up his playing boots, it was unfortunate that Becks joined Real at that time - only to be blamed unfairly for Reals' shortcomings.

    I personally feel that Becks is the best crosser of the ball ever. Who is better? Hoddle, Trevor Brooking, Beckenbauer. No one I can recall watching can cross the ball with the consistency, accuracy and SPEED of the ball as Becks. Further, Becks' footballing brain and vision is unparalleled - his vision is incredible - Becks' crosses usually anticipates where there would be a gap in the defence not when the ball is played but when the ball ARRIVES. Quality players like Michael Owen, Peter Crouch, Heskey are able to anticipate such balls and the resulting goals are just magical to was over and over and over again.

    Good luck to you Becks - you really deserve it - and may you continue to play till you're 40 or even older (remember Maldini).

  • Comment number 88.

    A further point I want to make is that we should also thank Posh for helping Becks become the mature and consummate professional that he has become. Posh is the one always conscious of the public relations aspect of celebrity and it must have rubbed off on Becks.

    Further, the fantastic financial LA Galaxy deal which restored Becks' self confidence and self worth was arranged by Posh's agent. All credit to Posh Beckham for standing by her man.

  • Comment number 89.

    Maxmerit & 5 tournament.
    Why are you being so negative? Ever heard of glass half full?

  • Comment number 90.

    mate,so much garbage you just wrote one doesnt know where to begin but really-beckhams "brain"?Ive never seen such a brainless player on the pitch,from his petulance that cost england a 2nd world cup in 98 to his brainless "hollywood" ball which gifted croatia the win last november,he is not an intelligent player.And this utter myth about his "crosses".You mention michael owen-go on then,tell me now,catalogue for me in all Beckhams years and 107 games for england the times he ever delivered a cross on owens head from the field of play.I cant think of ONE,literally ONE i cant think of in 107 matches.He was an absolute non existant wing threat for england when faced with proper defenders who knew all they had to do was deny him space and force him insdie-and he was shot.He NEVER provided a threat from the flanks against the top teams.The guy is a total myth,a 5 times tournament flop of a myth.WEOFUL at madrid-4 years which were the worst in living memeory.WEOFUL at la galaxy where even amongst poor teams he just looks like any other player.

  • Comment number 91.

    friendly neutral,figo and zidane and the GREAT players did crosses against the great nations and scored goals and won matches to secure their place in history.Beckham was found to be a little boy lost when faced with the biggest tests,so out his depth it was embarrassing.The very fact you mention hoddle is ironic as it was Hoddles humiliation of Beckham in training when he could do things with a football that Beckham couldnt dream of matching even when he was long retired which caused such friction betwen them.Hoddle,like any truely top passer or ball player would have been frankly amazed at the sheer lack of all round ability beckham posessed.A player who couldnt just not play it with both feet,but couldnt play it with any other part of his body than one part of his right foot.This "kick" had to be done from a certain angle or it was useless.You cant get away with that at the height of international football under true pressure from the real sides!Beckham could carry on playing till kingdoom come and hed never prove to be a threat to europe or the worlds top nations,he simply is too fatally flawed a player,its there for all to see,its really not rocket science to understand this basic reality.

  • Comment number 92.

    frimedly neutrl,you wokr for him or youre associated with him,its obvious from your new profile and the way youve spoken-dont take us for idiots.

  • Comment number 93.

    Such a good player.

    Does anyone know why Italy was choosen and not a team in the UK or else where in Europe?

    He is a legend and always will be..

    Keep on going Becks

  • Comment number 94.

    Becks WAS A good player at his peak, now he is ordinary and slow

  • Comment number 95.

    I remember watching a Real Madrid match where Beckham while in his own half on the right sent a fabulous cross to Zidane who was on the left side in the penalty box. It was fantastic - Becks anticipated Zidane's move and even though Zidane was surrounded by defenders was able to pick him out. Zidane brought the ball down in a single movement and scored a fantastic goal. Even the great Zidane was amazed at the quality of Becks' ball and was singing his praises - it was unbelieveable

  • Comment number 96.

    5TournamentFloplegend, lets just re-iterate for you...premier league winner, champions league winner, la liga don't get in these sides by just being a passenger or being there for marketability.

    I'll say again I think i'd rather take note of Ferguson, Capello and Ancelottis opinions rather than your own, which I have to say are nothing short of ill informed, ignorant, pathetic and laughable.

    Get a grip and calm yourself down.

  • Comment number 97.

    Personally I think people are reading too much into this. Capello has total faith in Beckham and Beckham himself has nothing to prove to anyone. He has played for two of the greatest clubs on the planet and the fact that AC Milan are interested still shows that people hold him in high credit. At the end fo the day he is going there to keep himself fit and not to prove to all his witless doubters that he still has it. For me anyway he has never lost it.

  • Comment number 98.

    Why do people go on about his freekicks and deadball situations because he's missed penalties for Engalnd when they really matter.

    Also, on the caps, do we play more games now? Do we have more subs? Is there parity between Moore, Charlton and Beckham?

  • Comment number 99.

    5Tournamentfloplegend: I have never read so much garbage from one person in my life before. You have set a new record for dumbness. Your lack of Football knowledge and expertise screams out from the pages. Stick to what you know best son, Tiddlywinks.

  • Comment number 100.

    How can you criticise carragher
    when youve got scholes in your team?


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