On Tuesday, David Beckham announced he will quit LA Galaxy.
After six eventful years with the MLS outfit, the former England captain, 37, has announced his last game will be next Saturday, December 1st in the Major League Soccer Cup.
Despite an option in his contract signed in January to stay for one more season, Beckham has opted to part ways with the club, although he refuses to close the door on a return to Major League Soccer in the future.
Golden Balls’ original contract included a clause granting him involvement in owning an MLS expansion team at a later date.
He admitted, “I don’t see this as the end of my relationship with the league, as my ambition is to be part of the ownership structure in the future.”
The dead-ball specialist has set the wheels of vicious rumour in motion by declaring, “I’ve had an incredibly special time playing for the LA Galaxy, however, I wanted to experience one last challenge before the end of my playing career.”
Only last week, Football Federation Australia claimed Beckham’s agent had approached them regarding the possibility of a short spell in A-league. The Beckham camp may have labelled this as pure speculation, but there appears to be very few alternatives.
Having signed for Manchester United as a trainee in 1991, he went on to make 398 appearances for the senior team, claiming 6 Premier League titles, 1 Champions League, 2 FA Cups, 1 FA Youth Cup 4 Community Shields and 1 Intercontinental Cup.
His 4 years at Real Madrid from 2003 to 2007, saw him lift the La Liga title and he has completed two successful loan spells at AC Milan, despite tearing his Achillies the second time round, which prevented him from taking part in the 2010 World Cup.
Beckham captained England from 2000 to 2006, making 115 appearances and most famously, (apart from ‘that’ sending off against Argentina in 1998), he scored a trademark free-kick in the dying seconds against Greece at Old Trafford to single-handedly grant his country qualification to the 2002 World Cup.
As throughout his whole career, at LA Galaxy there have been high and lows, with the superstar receiving criticism from fans questioning his commitment to the team in his first few seasons. However, Beckham’s reputation has since been restored, being voted as the league’s best player by fans and helping the Galaxy capture their third MLS Cup title last year.
With the A-League expanding rapidly and attracting former top class players in the latter stages of their career such as Alessandro Del Piero and dare I say it, Emile Heskey, who has in fact outshone the Italian in recent weeks, it would appear Australia is the only possible destination for the once most hated man in football, who now turns every ball he touches into gold.
Skeptics will claim Beckham’s lust for fame and fortune is the motivating factor behind one last big publicity stunt before he retires. Football fans, however, will be delighted that the man who has given so much to the beautiful game is not hanging up his boots just yet. In a sport that breeds so many ill-mannered reprobates in the modern day, we will be afforded one final opportunity to witness a true gentlemen of the footballing world.
Written by Dom Wallace
Sport 4 Thought