Monday, March 15, 2010

A World Cup without Becks

We vowed to try to keep you up to date on the injury situation as South Africa 2010 comes into view. And here is a guy who won't be playing. Not that he's a great player. But he is a great showman, and will be missed ...

As every soccer fan in the world has heard by now, David Beckham suffered an Achilles tendon rupture during a match with AC Milan last night.

That means that the one of the best-known players in the world won't be at South Africa 2010, an event he seemed primed to take over by force of personality during the draw back in December.

No one would suggest he is one of the planet's great players. Even when he was in his prime he had severe limitations.

But his star power ... that will be missed.

Where do we go from here?

--Good thing it was his left Achilles. Some snarky critics suggest Becks' left leg exists only to keep him from falling over. All that "bending" he did? ... Right leg.

--We have an opening for Aging Icon of 2010. Michael Ballack has been playing like he's 35, so maybe he could contend. If Carlos Dunga calls in Ronaldinho, the Brazilian wheeze/whiz could be in there. And is anyone quite sure that Roger Milla is done playing for Cameroon? Gary Lineker? Eric Wynalda?

--Becks is going to be out a minimum of three months, the medical people say. But that must be only because he will spend his convalescence at Lourdes. Last time I checked, a blown Achilles is more like a one-year injury. And with a year off, he will be nearly 36. At which point his relevance for any team (English national, AC Milan, even the L.A. Galaxy) seems minimal.

--Beckham's career with England is presumably over. Unless the side feels a need for a one-dimensional right wing during qualifying for the 2012 Euro Cup. He won't get the all-time record for England appearances, but he is No. 1 among outfield players with 115 caps.

--Back in Los Angeles, Galaxy lawyers are going over that five-year, trillion-dollar contract (or whatever it is), looking for a way to void it a couple years early. Though it's not as if Beckham was playing more than a couple of months for the American club, anyway.

--The World Cup did get a bit duller. Beckham is one of those handful of players who generates an opinion from everyone. Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Kaka ... take it away. If you can.

If this is it for Becks, we have to concede that he may be the all-time one-trick sports pony. He parlayed one amazing skill -- an ability to strike a soccer ball at rest and put it almost anywhere he wanted up to, oh, 30 yards -- and became a global personality. A global brand. That takes perseverance, a famous wife and a really capable PR crew.

We can take comfort in the fact that Becks presumably can still sell cologne and watches and maybe even soccer camps, even with a bum leg. Hurry back Becks.

1 comment:

  1. I tend to think that he will not be returning to the Galaxy. Why would he, really? Desire? Please. His teammates? Hardly. Loyalty? Ha. Money would be the only reason. That's plain for all to view.

    People say he loves the game SOOOO much but after reading his book I absolutely think the guy goes where the wind blows. And this time it blew retirement right up the back of his left leg.