If you talk to an average soccer fan, they might know who David Beckham is from ads showing off his six-pack and chiseled jaw. But if you talk to the soccer fan that delves into stats and seriously cares about teams and games, they might know Beckham to be a sellout.
Beckham was supposed to be the golden boy and introduce the United States to “real” soccer. When I heard this, my gut told me there was an alterior motive.
But before we get into that, I should give you some background on this soccer prodigy that came out of England.
Beckham was winning national skills competitions at age 11, and he made the club team of the coveted Manchester United soccer team of England at age 16. By the time Beckham was 20, he was starting for the team and a captain of England’s international team. He was a powerful soccer force for years, until he made a move that many did not see coming.
He decided to pack up the great gig he had going in England and come to America. And for what? He came here for what makes the world go round: money. And a lot of it.
He was offered more than his previous contract to play on the L.A. Galaxy in the U.S. The Galaxy offered Beckham a five-year $250 million contract to play midfielder.
Any respect I had for Beckham, as an individual, not as a player, was lost the second he came to the U.S. I cannot find the words to equate what he did to anyone else in sports. He was sitting pretty in Europe, winning championship after championship, but he took the bait. He came to the U.S. for nothing more than money.
Beckham claimed he was coming over to revitalize the American soccer scene. To many who knew him, it seemed he did the exact opposite. He set a precedent that anyone can be sold, for a price, and taken away from a good thing they had going.
Beckham was plagued by back luck, as well as bad play once he got to the United States. In his first season, Beckham sprained a knee ligament. That injury basically set the stage for his career in America.
Later, Beckham missed out on a chance to play in the 2010 World Cup due to an Achilles tendon injury. Ever since, Beckham has been quiet on the soccer scene with a flashy goal every once in a while.
Regardless of what others say, Beckham will be my Benedict Arnold of soccer until another comes along and does the inexplicable, again.