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 24, 2014, 7:43 PM EST
Toronto reportedly wants to either keep Defoe or sell permanently, and while Redknapp is interested, that would be a problem.
Dec 24, 2014, 6:30 PM EST
With Saido Mane headed to the AFCON and Jay Rodriguez struggling with his knee injury, Ronald Koeman has added another outside threat.
Dec 24, 2014, 5:07 PM EST
Only England plays matches on Boxing Day, and that means something to the Arsenal manager.
Dec 24, 2014, 3:49 PM EST
With a new style of high-pressing play not suited to Balotelli’s style, Brendan Rodgers is admitting his summer signing no longer fits.
Dec 24, 2014, 2:35 PM EST
Here’s how PST’s lead writer and editor sees things panning out on Boxing Day.
Dec 24, 2014, 12:10 PM EST
Arsenal’s likeable winger just hasn’t seen the field, and could be headed to Serie A as a result.
Dec 24, 2014, 10:46 AM EST
The new Manchester United boss is sweating the heavy injury list, both those that need treatment and those in the recovery room.
Dec 24, 2014, 9:23 AM EST
They don’t play for over a month, and therefore Manuel Pellegrini isn’t thinking about Chelsea despite being three points off the Blues for the top spot in the Premier League table.
Dec 23, 2014, 11:13 PM EST
And yes, we’re opening that unfortunate Pandora’s box of discussion again this fine Tuesday in December.
Dec 23, 2014, 10:42 PM EST
Torres is staying in Major League Soccer after a loan stint in Liga MX, and both MLS and Houston are looking solid after the deal.
Dec 23, 2014, 10:03 PM EST
Three cheers for James Milner, who sank his teeth into the idea that his holiday would be simply mundane in this hilarious video.
Dec 23, 2014, 9:10 PM EST
The article also provides us with anecdotes like the following tale of Colts quarterback Luck, one of the many stories that make us wonder, as always, “What if?”
Dec 23, 2014, 8:20 PM EST
The L.A. Galaxy striker doesn’t sound absolutely certain of his MLS future despite appearing at a press conference for an Ireland friendly.
Dec 23, 2014, 7:30 PM EST
Four matches in 10 days is not a situation unique to Arsenal, but it’s still something the club boss is concerning himself with this holiday season.
Dec 23, 2014, 6:40 PM EST
The serial kit-leakers at Footyheadlines.com have brought us an image that may or may not be the United States international away jersey for 2015.
Dec 23, 2014, 5:57 PM EST
In honor of LVG this Christmas, let’s all dedicate ourselves to becoming total human beings.
Dec 23, 2014, 5:00 PM EST
Zelalem has only represented Germany at youth levels and would be valuable to their system despite not appearing for the nation this year.
Dec 23, 2014, 4:37 PM EST
We’re down to nine days before the opening of the January transfer window.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic named No. 2 Swedish athlete of all-time; believes he should be Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Dec 23, 2014, 3:46 PM EST
Zlatan was asked for this thoughts, and his thoughts were, by nature, extremely Zlatan.
Dec 23, 2014, 3:28 PM EST
From LVG’s blazer to grim reaper and sideshow Bob… Let’s take a look back at some wacky moments in the PL.
- Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks: Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United 1
- Report: Lukas Podolski agrees to terms with struggling Inter 4
- Houston Dynamo massive winners in the Erick “Cubo” Torres sweepstakes 1
- Gedion Zelalem, an American flag emoticon, and the Twitter account that wasn’t 4
- Tuesday’s transfer rumor roundup: Strootman, Rodriguez and that crazy Bale/Man Utd talk 0
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic named No. 2 Swedish athlete of all-time; believes he should be Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. 3