I might as well chime in on David Beckham. I will start by saying that I think he is a great player who manages to live up to his billing. I have always liked him, especially in his prime with Manchester United. Is he the salvation of American and the MLS – no he is not. Is he over the hill – not yet, but he looking down the other side of the hill right now. The number of games he has played and the intensity of the games he has played are catching up. The little niggling injuries just do not heal as fast. There are some other factors to remember: Soccer is a team game, he does not have the same quality of players around him he did in England and Spain. Apparently he will play as a central midfielder which will help, so he will control the ball more. Second the quality of the pitches (fields) that they play on in the MLS in general are inferior. They are crowned American football fields in many cases and a very rough surface. They are not the manicure pitches you see in the Premier league or La Liga. His coach with the Galaxy, Frank Yallop, is very good and he understands what it is about. The trainer Ivan Perieria is also very good, he will have his hands full keeping him healthy. I hope this grand experiment works out and brings positive attention to the great game of soccer.


At 7/18/07, 9:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The game itself is different.
In south america, the pace of the game is slower.
In Premiership, the pace is a pressing pace.
In MLS, the pace is ESPN.

At 7/18/07, 4:23 PM, Blogger Ontario Emperor said...

I like your take on the "over the hill" issue; most people assume that Beckham's already over the hill and dismiss the point. I suspect, however, the experience will count for something, provided he's able to take the pitch in the first place.

At 7/19/07, 1:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beckham over the hill? He played great in the last part of the season at Real. Real even tried to let him stay.

At 7/19/07, 8:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

David Beckham will bring the popularity of soccer to the United States. Since 1981, we'll continue to hear soccer is on the rise. Yes, it has risen at the youth level, and fades off into the sunset.

Major League Soccer is a retirement community for Premiership, German Bundesliga,Premera Division, and Francais Ligue 1.

If you really FOLLOW soccer, Real Madrid did not TRY to retain Beckham because they felt that he was over the hill because of chronic injuries. Heck, the great Ronaldo is over the hill although he is in his early 30s.


At 7/19/07, 3:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello mr Maradonna,

I'll hope that David Beckham will bring popularity to the Major League Soccer and soccer in the USA.

Same as you I think the MLS is now a retirement community for older players ( NY: Waterreus - van den Bergh), same as Qatar ( Batistuta, De Boer ).

David Beckham is way to good for a retirement. Even the manager of team UK asked him back against Brasil. He played great ( 1 assist with ). Mc Claren, the manager, after the Brasil game:

"When he's playing well, there is no better right-sided player in the world. He showed that tonight." ( BBC )

Although it is hard to "believe" all the European soccer news, I red that Real - president Calderon said this:

"David Beckham has proven that he is a truly great player, with real spirit and heart. He is playing superbly and on Saturday [against Zaragoza] he even kept on fighting despite carrying an injury. Madrid's fans love him and I would like him to stay," said Calderon.

"We have to sit down with him, his representatives and with [sporting director Predrag] Mijatovic, have a look at that clause, and decide amongst all of us, but I would love it if he stayed at the club. I was angry after he announced prematurely that he was leaving, but now we're going to make all the effort we can for him to stay."

(telegraph, 11 06 2007 )

About Ronaldo: Over the hill? I do not think so. Look at his scores:

2006/2007 8 games 1 goal at Real. Left Real for AC Milan
2006/ 2007 14 games 7 goals

Mr Maradonna, I follow soccer. I would love to have "your over hill" players, Ronaldo and Beckham, on my team, Ajax Amsterdam.


Mischa van Stee, Amsterdam

At 7/20/07, 1:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since the 70's, all i have ever heard is soccer is on the rise. Yes, it has risen but only at the youth level. As popular as soccer is in Europe, South America, Asia - World wide, it is not in the US. Is it popular at the youth level? Yes! Is it popular at the professional level as it is in Europe? NO! professional American football, basketball and baseball will always drown out professional soccer; doesn't matter if it is Pele, Beckham, or Henry.

Will Beckham bring popularity of soccer to the US? Yes!!


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