While David Beckham May or May Not Be World-Class, He Commands My Respect

Andrew McNairSenior Writer IFebruary 11, 2009

When it comes to David Beckham, most say there is no middle ground, you either love him or you hate him but I disagree.

You don’t have to love someone to respect them.

Last Wednesday night, I had the privilege of watching Beckham play live for the first time as his new AC Milan side played Glasgow Rangers at Ibrox Stadium in a mid-season friendly.

It was amazing to see how he got on with the stars of Milan (considering he is a new player who doesn‘t speak the lingo) and it was quite obvious to those of us looking on that the Milan players respect him and are more than happy to have him around.

Now, I’m not one for watching the sun come out of players' backsides and I don’t believe Beckham is now or ever was world class, but he was and continues to be...one hell of a player.

The thought of writing about the English international came to me after reading an article that described the midfielders' performances in Italy as “ordinary” and that got me thinking.

The fact that Beckham’s performances have been very good at Milan, where he has scored and set up goals aplenty since his loan move from LA Galaxy, has, as always, ran the dead ball specialist into the ground but that is just part of the story.

Beckham was “ordinary” and not a naturally gifted footballer. But, as a young lad, David decided he wanted to be better.

He wanted to be a professional and he would do whatever it took. What it took was a willingness to put in that extra effort (be it a match, training, or practising free kicks on a daily basis) at every opportunity.

On the other hand, thousands of kids from Beckham’s generation with more natural ability than the Milan player are currently working in offices, shops, or playing in the lower leagues because they are “ordinary” people.

Now, there is absolutely nothing ordinary about a man who is married to a Spice Girl, a man who has played for three of the world's biggest clubs (Manchester United, Real Madrid, and AC Milan), and a man who is set to become England’s most capped outfield player of all time.

And all because a boy believed he could be better.

The word “ordinary” has no place alongside David Beckham but if more ordinary English boys were willing to follow his example, there would be no “foreigners ruining English football debate” as the foreigners wouldn’t get a look in.

Having said all that, I don’t love David Beckham, I don’t hate David Beckham but I do wish he were Scottish.