Now that he's been dropped from the England team, what's the timeline on David Beckham riding off to the sunset with the L.A. Galaxy or the New York Red Bulls, first broached a little over a year ago?
|TED S. WARREN/ASSOCIATED PRESS|
|Last night, a sellout crowd of 66,830 in Seattle givin' some love. And today, a pink slip from England.|
Depending on your point of view, Becks is/was either a comet flaring across the sky or merely the latest in an assembly line of say-nothing, sell-lots corporate athletes. With his absence for England's exhibition match Wednesday against Greece confirmed, the roundup of young heirs to his lucrative throne as King of the Metrosexuals is a short list topped by Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and including the likes of Lionel Messi, Alberto Gilardino, tennis's Rafael Nadal, and perhaps even the NBA's Tony Parker. Each of them carry global credentials, and are young enough to stick around for a while and pick up the requisite tattoos, endorsements and WAG accessories (unless the 31-year-old Beckham is truly a once-in-a-generation phenomenon whose departure from the largest stage will, a la contemporary-megastar template Michael Jordan, create a vacuum -- highly doubtful).
You can come up with other candidates, I'm sure. And Beckham's still playing, of course, readying for another season at Real Madrid, which last night played in front of a sellout crowd of 66,830 in Seattle. (Proving again that the appetite for soccer -- big-time soccer -- is there in the U.S.A.)
Deprived of the largest international stage now, the slow fade is beginning for Beckham and hotted-up talk of a move to MLS is just a matter of time. Meantime, I'll revive my favourite quote on the subject of Becks, from an unnamed Real Madrid director (the dear departed Galacticos architect Florentino Perez, presumably, or one of his flunkies) upon his signing there three years ago:
"Just look how handsome Beckham is, the class he has, the image. The whole of Asia has fallen in love with us, they all want to shag us, because of Beckham. Between Ronaldinho and Beckham, I'd go for Beckham a hundred times. Ronaldinho was too ugly to play for Madrid."
Famous last words.
Related: Beckham makes Page Six.