It is to David Beckham’s credit that whenever he’s been considered down and out, he has always returned with a bang, making a bigger impact than before, reinventing himself and laughing all the way to the bank, as it were.
When he was a kid, he found it extremely hard to break into the Manchester United first team – his period out at loan was thought a precursor to his departure, but hard work and sheer determination (not to mention that goal from the half-way line) buoyed his ‘limited’ talents and he was quickly established as a first team regular and part of the famous midfield four that would drive Manchester United through their glory years of the late 90s.
His sending off for England heralded a premature demise of his international career, but backed by Alex Ferguson he took the Premiership by storm in the 98-99 season and won the fans back, to the point where he was considered indispensable and was named captain of England.
Then, in 2003, a tiff with Sir Alex resulted in his exit from Manchester United and once again it seemed downhill from then onwards. But David Beckham signed for the European Champions with a pay package that suited his ‘icon’ status.
Fast forward to 2007. Dumped from the England squad, considered excess to requirements by Real Madrid, David Beckham’s career seemed over. Many people (including me) thought he should retire, but that would not have been appropriate.
Now he’s ensured that he’s going out in the finest style possible, a staggering 500,000 pounds / week deal that will see him mingle with Hollywood’s finest and play some competitive football now and then for LA Galaxy. The move is about LA Galaxy and MLS, but Beckham doesn’t care. He already has enough money to not be bothered by the specifics of the deal, although his agents have, for sure, negotiated an excellent pay package for him.
Beckham hasn’t gone for the lifestyle either, although it will appeal to him (how will they deal with the paparazzi though?).
What Becks has done is written the best possible ending to his career (short of returning to Manchester United), done it with style, helped the game of football, made a future for his family and earned some moolah on the side (and there’s still room for him playing competitive football, which he’s always wanted to do).
How many of us are able to script our perfect ending?