Thursday, January 11, 2007

Bend It Like an LA Galaxy Player

The world is abuzz with the news that soccer glamourpuss David Beckham is leaving Real Madrid for the LA Galaxy of MLS.

While this looks like a Big Deal for American professional soccer, one should keep in mind that at 31, Beckham's best days as a player are behind him. Certainly his performance in the World Cup suggested as much. We suspect that his celebrity status is the main attraction that he has for the LA club, and that LA is the major attraction for Beckham.

SWNID is old enough to remember the first advent of professional soccer in the USA in the 1970s. The immortal Pele played for a bit with an American team. He lent class to the whole operation, but he was old enough--much older than Beckham--that his contribution on the field was marginal.

10 comments:

Bryan D said...

Becks still offers bang for his buck. Besides contributing his obvious star power to the attention depraved MLS, I would argue that he was instrumental in what little success England had in the World Cup this summer. He became the only English player ever to score in three tourneys and also posted two additional assists.

Many were critical of England's lackluster performance in general and thus much of that criticism fell unduly on the captain. I would say the manager was more to blame, for in six years he was unable to arrange the most talented squad in the world into a system that actually worked.

Is Beckham past his prime? Certainly. But look for his new team to place him in position that will maximize his potential. Furthermore, this has been the year of overaged superstars. Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Teddy Sheringham, Brian McBride, Ronaldo, Figo and Zidane are all players who have resurged this year to make massive impact for their teams and all of them are well of 30, the so called day of reckoning for professional soccer players.

Making $500,000 a week and having an entire country to himself to lap up his fame (in contrast to Real madrid where he had to compete with a laundry list of other celebs) might be just the ticket evoke the "last, best" years of Beckham.

Bryan D said...

And one more detail to add. Beckhams deal at $250 million for fiv years means that LA will have paid nearly twice as much as the Yankeeys for You-Know-Who Rod (not to curse him). Does that give any perspective to how much he could mean to the sport in America?

Anonymous said...

just another reason for the europeans to hate us.

Justin

Anonymous said...

The 250 million for Beckam vs. A-Rod are incomparable. A-Rod gets his money for playing basketball. Beckam gets his money for making endorsements.

Calus The Great said...

Anon:

A-Rod is a baseball, not a basketball player.

Bryan D said...

Plus, Beckham's $250 million contract is from the club, not from his endorsers.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me for the mistake between basketball and baseball. I thought you had to jump through a bunch of hoops to play for the Yankees.

On the endorsement thing, sorry Bryan, you're flat out wrong. Whether the money comes from his club or not is irrelevant. What he is getting paid for is. The majority of his money is coming from endorsements.

MJ could make 5 million with the Bulls baseball team, but a 100 million in endorsements. And that was 10-12 years ago, and an annual compensation. Beckham's 250 is over 4 years.

I believe Tiger is in the 150 to 175 range per year, not for all of those tennis balls he's hitting across the court, but from Nike.

dave o. said...

The main thing here is that they are all paid too much. (I thought Tiger played golf.)

Calus The Great said...

Anon:

The Chicago Bulls are a basketball team, not a baseball team. Normally I wouldn't nitpick, but your lack of truly elementary professional sports knowledge makes your arguments seem incredulous.

Jim Shoes said...

An argument can't be "incredulous." That adjective signifies "disbelieving" and so can only be applied to persons. Arguments are "incredible," not capable of being believed.

So it looks like slack should be cut all around in this discussion.