Beckham's World Cup dream in tatters

Tuesday, 16 March 2010



David Beckham’s dream of playing in a fourth World Cup look to be over after he was pulled up with an Achilles tendon injury in Milan on Sunday night, there are also fears that his 18 year career could be over.

Reports suggest it could take anything up to five months before Beckham is up on his feet and kicking a ball again. As were the case in 2002 when Beckham broke his metatarsal a nation once again holds its breath in the off chance he could make the World Cup in June.

However, this media frenzy surrounding the former England captain is somewhat creepy from my point of view. He has got injured, by some newspapers yesterday you would think he had died and they were already writing the obituaries.

Of course it is hard not to feel sorry for Beckham but I would like to echo the view of Guardian columnist Rob Smyth who wrote a piece titled “Can we have some perspective?” And I believe that it what is needed here.

While Beckham is a key figure in the dressing room and would almost certainly be assured of a place on the place to South Africa, albeit he would not have featured in Fabio Capello’s starting XI in each game but would have most likely been a morale boosting substitute.

Therefore his injury does not affect the shape of the team in any way. Had the injury been to Wayne Rooney then it is safe to say we would all be imposing a newspaper lockdown upon ourselves because it would be impossible to escape.Let’s hope that does not happen, certainly for England’s World Cup dream to stay alive.

As a Manchester United fan I’ve always had admiration for David Beckham even though he has long since departed Old Trafford for Real Madrid and LA Galaxy. He has always shown that he is a true professional who is committed to his football and is always looking to better himself.

This is exemplified when his England place was under threat while playing in the MLS in America – he has moved to Milan for the past two winters in a bid to keep himself in Fabio Capello’s plans.

The World Cup would have given him the chance to close in on goalkeeper Peter Shilton’s international appearance record of 125 caps, currently Beckham has 115. He is also the only man to score for England in three World Cup tournaments, an amazing achievement in its own right.

Beckham’s motivation over the past few months would have been this summer’s tournament and would possibly have been his swansong. Now it looks like the midfielder will have a long and winding road to recovery, a lonesome road at that, not something anyone likes to see a player go through.

It remains to be seen whether this is the end of Beckham’s career but it is and injury he would have liked to avoid especially with his 35th birthday coming up in May. I’m sure Capello will take Beckham to the World Cup regardless of his injury not as part of the playing squad but the backroom team.

This begs the question - is this the injury that spurs England on to World Cup glory?

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Touchline Views

This is a football blog by Ian Walsh, covering all aspects of the game - from the Premier League and La Liga to the slightly mental football stories we all love.

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