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Is this latest injury the end for David Beckham?

Text by Emmanuel VERSACE

Latest update : 2010-03-16

Does David Beckham’s injury mean the end of his career? Is the England squad losing a key player? How will Beckham’s break from the spotlight affect his wife Victoria, aka “Posh Spice”? FRANCE 24 takes a closer look at what’s ahead for “Becks”.

English football star David Beckham is set to miss this year's World Cup despite undergoing successful surgery on his torn Achilles tendon Monday. FRANCE 24 answers some of the lingering questions about the consequences of this injury the highest-paid football player in the world.

Is Beckham’s international career over?

NO. Beckham will likely be too old to play in the next World Cup in Brazil in 2014 at 39-years-old. However, he could yet participate in the qualifiers for Euro 2012, which kick-off in September. Nothing is preventing the England manager, currently Fabio Capello, from calling up Beckham once he has fully recovered, which could be within six months.

Was David Beckham indispensable for Fabio Capello?

YES and NO. Unlike his predecessor, Steve McLaren, Capello has always regarded “Becks” highly. Capello went so far as to say that Beckham’s missing the World Cup is a “big blow”. Always quick to praise Beckham, Capello was counting on the player’s experience and charisma to give an extra dimension to the squad, in much the same way that Zinedine Zidane did for France upon his return to the team in 2006. Capello has also indicated that he would still like Beckham to come to South Africa in a backroom capacity or in some kind of coaching position.

An undeniable pillar in midfield, Beckham has stood in the way of many talented young English players coming through: Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City), James Milner (Aston Villa), or Aaron Lennon (Tottenham Spurs) are still waiting for Capello to give them a shot.

Did Beckham make the right choice by going to play to AC Milan?

YES. With the Major League Soccer season ending in mid-November, Beckham had no choice but to play in Europe to keep himself on Capello’s radar and to maintain his fitness. America’s Landon Donovan, Beckham’s Los Angeles Galaxy teammate, also headed across the ocean (to Premier League club Everton) to do the same.

Does his US club, LA Galaxy, resent him for going to AC Milan between seasons?

NO. Bruce Arena, the LA Galaxy coach, issued a statement in which he expressed support for Beckham. “Injuries are an unfortunate part of our game and they are even more disappointing when they happen to a player who was so close to realising his dream of representing his nation at this summer's World Cup,” the statement read.

LA Galaxy’s support, however, is strategic as well: the value of a player shoots up if he takes part in the World Cup. Beckham was recruited on a contract worth $250 million over a five-year term, and LA Galaxy would have liked to see him play in football’s biggest competition.

As for Beckham’s US fans, that’s another story… the fans never really warmed to the English player.

Despite this, if Beckham is back on his feet in six months, he’ll be able to play in the last six games of the American season.

Will Victoria Beckham’s burgeoning career as a stylist be affected by her husband’s injury?

YES and NO. Victoria and David Beckham have built their respective careers in a parallel, interdependent fashion; they share the same PR agent, the very powerful Simon Fuller of 19 Entertainment. The fact that Beckham won’t get the same media coverage during the World Cup could have financial consequences for both of them. So, it remains to be seen if “Posh Spice’s” burgeoning fashion career will suffer from her husband’s break from the spotlight.

Date created : 2010-03-16

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