With David Beckham calling an end to his 20 year career, Greg Johnson looks at the player behind the hype, and asks whether more footballers should follow his example…
Over the past few years, David Beckham has toured the world like an aging rock band, determined to wring a final few golden years out of his former glory in emerging markets and foreign lands still seduced by the nostalgic allure of his status and shirt sales. Now his greatest hits tour is coming to an end, with the world’s most famous footballer turning down an extension to stay at his latest European cameo at Paris Saint-Germain in order to bow out of the game at “the highest level”.
While many may scoff at his reasoning, along with the self-indulgence of his later career moves, it is important to separate the past achievements of Beckham the footballer from Beckham the brand, especially since his reputation as a player is more often than not harmed by the association.
Ignoring his ubiquitous presence across billboards and TV, pushing everything from soft drinks to under pants while skirting the borders of ridicule with his outlandish fixation on fashion and hairstyles, David Beckham was a fine footballer and an upstanding professional athlete. Continue reading