May 16, 2013, 1:26 PM EST
Whenever anyone mentions the name David Beckham, what are the first thoughts that pop into your mind?
Glamor, fashion, celebrity, icon, superstar, Hollywood…soccer?
The main thing we should remember Beckham for, the soccer, often comes way down the list.
So, what is better: Brand Beckham? Or Beckham the soccer player?
Let’s start with the brand. Ever since he married a Spice girl, Beckham knew his life would never be the same. But after years of modelling expensive garments, fragrances, watches and just about anything else you can imagine, the brand behind David and Victoria Beckham is now a relentless money-making machine. In his early years it was never like that. But from promising player to international star to veteran to father-figure, Beckham’s stardom has grown exponentially.
His switch from Real Madrid to the LA Galaxy in 2007 was said by many to fall in line with Victoria’s fashion line and her ambitions to become an A-list celebrity in Hollywood.
Beckham came to the USA to grow soccer with his stardom and millions, if not billions, of adoring fans across the globe. The brand has been out of control for sometime now. His fame and fortune helped his hometown of London get the 2012 Olympic games and he played a huge part in the opening ceremony. Everyone wants to see him, talk about him and judge him. Just look at the furor his retirement today has caused. Websites, social media sites and message boards have gone into meltdown. Would this all have happened if some decent soccer player from East London had retired?
Hold up, hold up. Hang on a minute. Beckham isn’t just a “decent” player. He is one of the best.
Certainly he is one of the greatest players England has ever produced. Yet that goes unnoticed, unappreciated and undervalued when the name “Beckham” is uttered to anyone, on any street, in any country on this planet.
Quite simply, growing up in England when Beckham was making his ascent through the ranks at United, the baby faced lad from Leytonstone — with the squeaky cockney accent and the copious amount of Brylcreem stuck to his head — was a sensation. He could pass like no other, he could bend the ball around any obstacle and his work rate, oh my, it was like he made every tackle and long-bursting run as if his life depended on it.
The goals, they were sublime. The goal from his own half against Wimbledon in 1996 put him on the soccer map. A last-gasp free kick to take England to the World Cup against Greece. His belter against Wales in a World Cup qualifier in 2004. A lob into an empty net against the Kansas City Wizards. The list goes on and on.
Beckham twice finished runner-up as the FIFA World player of the year. He lost to Rivaldo in 1999 and Luis Figo in 2001. So yeah, he is much more than a “decent” player.
Only time will tell what lies ahead for Beckham. Could he become an owner of an MLS franchise? Could he become a manager? Will he step away entirely from the game? Or will he make a dramatic comeback from retirement? Who knows.
But when we look back at Beckham’s career how will we remember him? That is the biggest question of all.
Will it be for the brand or will it be the player? I’ll let you discuss that. But as a proud Englishman, I hope it’s the latter.
Dec 18, 2013, 10:00 AM EST
After another defeat, the ‘Special One’ bemoans Chelsea’s lack of ruthlessness:
Dec 18, 2013, 9:15 AM EST
De Rosario, Ruiz and Ferreira all up for grabs. Plus plenty of other gems available:
Dec 18, 2013, 8:32 AM EST
After everything, Becks’ love for United remains. And the ex-MLS star sees a bright future ahead for United:
Dec 18, 2013, 7:43 AM EST
Were Spurs’ players 100 percent behind AVB? Apparently so…
Dec 17, 2013, 11:02 PM EST
Rounding up the smaller bits of news and other happenings around Major League Soccer:
Dec 17, 2013, 10:14 PM EST
Today’s news moves us one painful step closer to an awful, perhaps inevitable, destination:
Dec 17, 2013, 9:10 PM EST
And what a smart move that is from the current LA Galaxy assistant:
Dec 17, 2013, 8:28 PM EST
At this point, the big surprise would be if Clint Dempsey did not go on loan in January.
Dec 17, 2013, 7:43 PM EST
There are retreads, and then there are retreads who scored over 100 goals for your club. Can Hoddle be Spurs’ Dalglish?
Dec 17, 2013, 7:02 PM EST
Hard to tell if there’s any real progress here, but there was a bit of news today:
Dec 17, 2013, 6:15 PM EST
Fabio Borini eliminates his former club, while an Edin Dzeko double lifts the Citizens at Leicester.
Dec 17, 2013, 5:52 PM EST
In an interview with KingFut.com, the former U.S. national team manager demonstrates why he remains one of the true gentlemen of the U.S. Soccer community:
Dec 17, 2013, 5:12 PM EST
The big 4-0 comes just 10 days after his club raised the MLS Cup trophy:
Dec 17, 2013, 4:40 PM EST
Although he evolved into a problem in Seattle, Eddie Johnson could be a solution for United.
Bayern Munich has easy time in 3-0 win over Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande at FIFA Club World Cup
Dec 17, 2013, 4:27 PM EST
If Bayern Munich wants to remind everyone it has the best team in the world, the Bavarian giants are certainly going about it the right way.
Dec 17, 2013, 3:54 PM EST
High, high praise from the Everton manager for his U.S. international starter in goal:
Dec 17, 2013, 3:22 PM EST
Never mind Jimmy Nielsen’s retirement; the champs appear to be set in goal once again:
Dec 17, 2013, 3:21 PM EST
A dramatic year for the U.S. international vaulted him to the top of Google’s list.
Dec 17, 2013, 2:30 PM EST
Upon hearing of Gjoka’s legal predicament, Ronaldo penned a letter to the Miami prosecutor asking that the charges be dropped.
Dec 17, 2013, 1:41 PM EST
Fortunate for the club, the scan results indicate that Deulofeu could return in time for the trip to West Brom on January 20th.
- Brad Friedel: Tottenham players backed Andre Villas-Boas 0
- Wondering where this match-fixing business will land? 2
- Manchester City advance, Chelsea bounced in League Cup 0
- Eddie Johnson to D.C. is happening: What this means for Seattle, United 7
- Stuart Holden returns to Bolton but still has a long way to go 2
- Jack Wilshere retrospectively charged for flipping the bird 1
- Voting on the U.S. national team all-time Best XI (19)
- U.S. national team discussion: The Alejandro Bedoya conundrum (18)
- Shouldn’t Peter Vermes be in the future U.S. national team coaching discussions? (17)
- NYCFC’s new stadium could be neighbor to Yankee Stadium (12)
- Tottenham is using blood spinning treatment on its players, and nobody seems to know if it’s doping (12)
- Germany Building Training Facility in Brazil
- Spain Thinking of US Camp Before World Cup
- Don't count out Chile in WC Group B
- Kicking it Off with a Final
- VIDEO: Visa World Cup Promo
- Aurelien Collin: I Think France is Very Very Happy
- Klinsmann Shouldn't Have Been Re-signed Before WC
- You Can't Beat German Sachlichkeit
- Giovani: "We Were Over Criticized"
- Watch Out Netherlands! Chile-Clan Ain't Nothin' to Mess With!