Beckham and the art of survival

Shreya Chakravertty<br> The multitudes of screaming fans jostling to make room for their camera phones so they could take a precious picture of the Englishman at the Los Angeles International Airport showed the star power was not going to disappear soon.

Written by Shreya Chakravertty | New Delhi | Published: February 12, 2009 5:20:34 pm

Two years ago,when David Beckham and his famous metatarsal made their way across the Atlantic to a land where the term ‘football’ brings images of helmeted men in puffed costumes running around with an elyptical ball in their hands,it was thought to be the curtain call for his international ambitions.

The multitudes of screaming fans jostling to make room for their camera phones so they could take a precious picture of the Englishman at the Los Angeles International Airport showed the star power was not going to disappear soon but now,with the ‘keep me’ pleas to AC Milan getting louder and louder,the 33-year-old must surely be rethinking the wisdom of the earlier decision.

With his place in the England line-up far from a certainty under coach Fabio Capello,and a settled place far more likely if he were playing in one of Europe’s top leagues rather than the virtual anonymity of the MLS in the US,Beckham’s grand proclamations of taking the sport to ‘another level’ in America have come crashing down to reality.

Fabio Capello is usually seen as part of the audience during Premiership games,sizing up his present and potential future England players. The trip across to America,though,was never one he would take. As Galaxy floundered their way across the American league,the former Real Madrid player must have had a sinking sense of deja vu. When Capello was in charge of the Galacticos,he had once proclaimed Beckham to no longer be part of his plans.

Now,in charge of his country’s football team,a similar declaration of his end with England seem to be on the cards. Beckham did equal Bobby Moore’s record 108 caps while playing for England against Spain on Wednesday night,but Beckham began the game from the bench.

AC Milan to the rescue,then? Since Beckham first played for the Italian Club at the beginning of 2009,his England boss has been making favourable observations about his form and fitness. There are talks of his loan deal with the Italians being made permanent,and if Beckham sounds a tad desperate,even the Italians seem keen to keep him.

Galaxy say they will decide whatever is in the ‘best interests of the club’,but with the 2010 World Cup just a year away,the man in question is unlikely to let this opportunity to return inside the England frame go.

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