Uh-oh, a post about Beckham

In the shadow of Seedorf's spectacular--and potentially legendary--game winner for Milan last night, David Beckham's career probably ended. That's right, this is Blogistuta's take on the most written-about man in football.



My opinion of Beckham is, I humbly believe, a lot more nuanced and ultimately accurate than the ones depicted in the media and among the mainstream of fans. It doesn't make room for him being a superstar of the game on the level of people like Figo, Totti or Ronaldo, who have run this game at different times during the past decade. It makes even less room for the idea that because of his fame, he's an incredibly overrated media product, who if it weren't for said fame wouldn't have a career to speak of. That latter view of him is to me even more annoying than the former, because it's one proclaimed as gospel by so many who consider themselves "true" football fans. The truth is Beckham is, or was, a good and honest footballer. For all the modeling, paparazzi flashes and fame, he never stopped doing him on the football field, and that meant nothing but dedication, hard work and sweat for as long as he was playing. Always and forever; he never let his extracurricular life change the player he was, and for that I respect him.

When he moved back to Milan for a second time, something felt a bit off. I understood why both parties wanted it; the first time out had been a moderate success, it was a hassle-free deal and an easy option for both to take. But it was probably a thirty pluser too far for Milan, and things never took off during the two or so months he's been there this time around. But I understood why he did it, since he never hid his ambition to work hard enough to force himself into England's squad for South Africa. Whether Capello had real plans to bring him or not, I do not know, but it still feels bitter to have his career, a career that he can be proud of, end like this. It shouldn't have ended with the last memories being of him struggling to get back into this Milan, for the sake of his story arc he deserved to go out with the majesty of the World Cup. But that's the thing about careers as story arcs. Few players are blessed with the opportunity to themselves influence the narration enough so that it suits them, and out of them all too few have the self discipline to recognize when that story arc is finished, rather than letting it go on too long and fade out sadly. I'm disappointed Beckham didn't get the arc to his story that he wanted, because he had earned it. Not on billboards, not in magazines; on the grass.