Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Beckham was good, but not great

I'm at a loss. First Fergie goes: then it's Rio Ferdinand and John Terry from England duty; now David Beckham has quit. Who is left to lampoon?

I'm bereft ... and also confused. I really thought that David left football six years ago when he joined that laughable league, Major League Soccer ... but no. I'm told he won the French title with Paris St. Germain. I've checked: he's made ONE full appearance for them. How he'll be missed: certainly, in commercial terms.

Look, David is a lovely guy. I've never disputed that, but he has never EVER been the world class footballer some made him out to be.

He was very good, at his best, but no better than that. Where he has been in a field of his own is in marketing. Never before, and probably never again, has anyone made so much from having so little.

I haven't forgotten. I commentated on that free-kick against Greece in 2001: it was probably the best game he's ever played. I also described his penalty – yes, that's right, I did say penalty – against Argentina the following summer in Sapporo.

But to put David in the same league as a Messi or a Ronaldo is beyond the Pale. Pass me the tissues.

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