David Beckham’s Future in Football
Despite being retired, David Beckham is still the most famous footballer in the world. Even with players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo still in the prime of their careers, the name ‘Beckham’ still carries extra weight all the way from the streets of Cape Town to the bustling traffic of Beijing’s city centre.
Beckham’s emotional retirement on May 18th in Paris was a fitting end to one of the most glittering careers of not just English football but the entire sport’s history. Though players like Pele, Diego Maradona and now Messi were undoubtedly more skilful and scored more goals than Beckham, no other player has transcended the game quite like ‘Becks’.
All of this means that the eyes of the world are still on Beckham even though he hasn’t laced up a pair of boots in anger in four months. After conquering the world of football so comprehensively, he was never going to be satisfied – or even to allowed – to spend his retirement gardening or putting his feet up in one of his many homes. So what will his next contribution be too the sport that he still loves and adores?
The most obvious way Beckham can still directly contribute to football is by moving into managing or coaching but it seems as though as he looks set to stay far away from that side of the game. He has yet to take up any of the coaching badges required to land a big job and former teammate and fellow Manchester United legend turned manager, Ole Gunner Solskjaer also insisted that Beckham wasn’t cut out for management.
Perhaps his path still lies in America where he spent the latter quarter of his career. Beckham’s five years in the US coincided with a flourishing of the sport in a fledgling country. Participation in grass roots football increased, soccer attendances overtook those in established sports like basketball and ice hockey and fellow stars Thierry Henry, Clint Dempsey and Alessandro Nesta also joined the league following Beckham’s trailblazing signing.
There have long been rumours that Beckham wants to continue his good work in trying to improve the MLS’ standing in world football. Along with Bolivian billionaire Marcelo Claure, a new team based in Miami is being highly touted to be unveiled next season. This would allow Beckham to take a more hands on approach to improving the brand of US soccer which was compromised in his first stint on the pitch as his efforts to play for England again blunted his effectiveness. This and his recent link with China to become a football ambassador might lead the sport to new heights in the two biggest superpowers in the world.
Despite his retirement on the pitch, Beckham is still intend on helping improve the image and global reach of football and it’s something we have come to take for granted given his immaculate track record. And no matter what Beckham contributes to the sport in the future, one thing is certain. Football has been blessed to have someone like Beckham on its side.