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David Beckham – Retired and still Playing

Knowing the title challengers from the start of a football season, gives it a sense of direction and purpose. I don’t watch the first few MLS season games not only because they tend to be slow and confusing, but also because the teams’ ambitions tend to change from year to year, hiding true contenders among the crowd of teams trying to establish themselves.

On March 26th 2011, Real Salt Lake played their second game of the season against the Los Angeles Galaxy, David Beckham’s spring-summer vacation team. This reason alone was the culprit to break my rule of thumb and reserve my seat in the Rio Tinto stadium along with two of my friends. As we know David attracts multitudes of people not just when he plays football. There was no surprise to see the stadium in full capacity with kids shouting his name and moms giggling when he touched the ball. I say touch because I rarely saw him construct a play. He had a few good crosses, his specialty, and a few free kicks, his specialty as well, but predominantly his game was accompanied with long walks along the sidelines and spurious halts to catch the breath by placing hands on the hips as my phone photo illustrates. Make no mistake on thinking that I don’t like David as a footballer. I think he has given plenty to the sport. I remember, besides his hair that made him famous back in the 90’s, the epic Manchester United victory against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League 1999 final. Beckham’s cross in the last minute lead to Solskjær winning goal, which proceeded by Sheringham’s goal on the same last minute. Manchester won 2-1.

Before Beckham became famous for his looks, his Spice Girl wife Victoria, or his tattoos, he already was a top caliber footballer playing for Manchester United. Now he is a veteran of the England National team with 115 appearances and has played for top clubs such as Real Madrid, and AC Milan. So when will Beckam retire? Realistically, Beckham indirectly announced his retirement when his PR team announced the 5 year $250 million deal with Galaxy. The deal turned out to be more of a marketing stunt rather than hard dollars. The figure was hypothetical of what David could make during this time including personal endorsements and Galaxy pay check, which is a modest $6.5 million per year. Beckham’s MLS experience with Galaxy doesn’t take away from his illustrious career as it follows the same trend of other European stars retiring in USA. He will honor his contract with Galaxy and be the latest statistics of European players retiring in USA.

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