Beckham silences critics with MLS title success
Miami: David Beckham`s five-year stint with Major League Soccer finally delivered his first league title with LA Galaxy, completing another turnaround for one of the game`s most polarizing figures.
Now it remains to be seen whether the MLS Cup victory over the Houston Dynamo was Beckham`s American swansong or if a return to Europe, or even retirement, are his next steps.
The crowd at the Home Depot Center made their preference known at the end of the game, chanting `Come Back David` but it was only a few months ago that many U.S. fans were hoping he might leave for good.
The former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder missed the bulk of last season due to an Achilles tendon injury picked up while on loan to AC Milan, a move many disapproved of.
In order to get fully fit for this season, Beckham went back to Britain to train with Tottenham Hotspur, during MLS`s long off-season and skipped the early stages of the Galaxy`s pre-season to continue working out near London.
"I wanted to go somewhere and train and not take the three months off and sit around doing nothing," said Beckham at the time.
But not everyone agreed with his choice and Beckham`s commitment to the Galaxy was questioned with one pundit beginning the season`s first televised game with a thinly-veiled swipe about Beckham "buying Shepherd`s pie" in London.
It had been worse. After returning from his first loan spell with AC Milan in July 2009, Beckham ended up in an angry confrontation with Galaxy fans who jeered him.
"Go Home Fraud" read one fan`s banner on display at the Galaxy`s stadium and stories emerged that some Galaxy players were not happy with Beckham`s attitude.
Beckham`s loan moves to Europe, skipping Galaxy`s early season games in the process, did not endear him to American fans, particularly given he was by far the league`s best paid player with an annual salary of USD 6 million.
This year though, the critics have been unable to find any cause for complaint.
Just as he came back from being a public enemy in England after being sent off against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup, eventually becoming English football`s global ambassador, and just as he turned a modest spell in Madrid into a success with a La Liga title for Real, Beckham has won over his detractors.
The Londoner was second in the league for assists, visibly worked hard in the 26 games he featured in, often battling pain of some kind and showed off his dead-ball and crossing ability throughout a season in which the Galaxy were unbeaten at home.
By last week, MLS commissioner Don Garber was declaring that the Englishman had "delivered on all aspects."
"MLS wouldn`t be what it is today if David didn`t decide to come and play in Major League Soccer. All of us appreciate everything that he has done," Garber said.
There can be no doubt Beckham`s time in MLS has boosted the league`s profile internationally and domestically and although that has not translated into a massive upturn in attendances and television ratings, his celebrity has helped build momentum.
MLS still does not offer salaries that are competitive with the main leagues in Europe and South America but Beckham has played his part in progress.
Whether or not Beckham remains in the U.S. as a player for another season remains to be seen although there is a strong likelihood he will remain involved in some form.
The midfielder has an option to own a future MLS franchise and whenever he has been asked he has stated he intends to utilize it.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Zee Media exclusive chat with 'Welcome to Karachi' cast
- Reservation issue: Police register case against Bainsla, 20 others
- Zee Media exclusive interview with Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar
- UP Minister allegedly threatens, abuses Gonda businessman
- Manali: Heavy corruption found in environmental taxes
- UP: Jammu-bound Muri Express derails in Kaushambi
- Five unmanned parachutes spotted over Mumbai airport
- Aapke Sitare: Astro prediction for May 24, 2015
- Watch: Fast N Facts @ 7:30pm
- Dawood's intercepted phone calls prove yet again he is in Pakistan
- One year of Modi govt: How satisfied is the common man?
- Jaipur girl Mini Rajpal wins Miss India Deaf 2015!
- CBSE Board Class 12th Exam Results 2015 declared
- Mumbai architecture creates double decker bus from scrap!
- One year of Modi govt: How satisfied is the common man? Part-2
- IPL 2015 Final: MI vs CSK - As it happened...
- CBSE.nic.in 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board (cbseresults.nic.in) Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 to be announced on May 25
- Heatwave continues in North India; death toll in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana more than 400
- IPL 2015 final: Mumbai Indians thrash Chennai Super Kings by 41 runs to lift second title
- Heatwave claims over 550 lives so far, Delhi saw hottest day
- LIVE - Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic.in Class 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 to be announced shortly
- Check cbseresults.nic.in for CBSE Class 12 result 2015
- Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic.in Class 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 declared
- Two dead, over 100 injured as Muri Express derails in UP; Prabhu announces Rs 2 lakhs ex-gratia for kin of dead
- Mathura rally: PM Modi slams 'corrupt' UPA regime, lauds NDA govt's efforts in past one year
- Kejriwal completes 100 days in office, AAP says centre 'shadow boxing' over row with LG
- CBSE Class 12 results out: Here's how you can check
- PM Narendra Modi's Mathura rally: As it happened
- Check WBBSE (wbresults.nic.in) Class 12th Results: West Bengal Board (wbscvet.org) Higher Secondary Class XII Vocational Results to be declared today at 4 PM
- Police register case against Bainsla, 20 others as Gujjar agitation continues