David Beckham attracts love and hate.
This week, David Beckham made a huge announcement that will shape the story arc in the final chapter of his exceptionally successful football career. On December 1, Beckham will play his last competitive game for LA Galaxy, and there's no doubt he has divided opinion since his arrival to Major League Soccer in 2007.
Sometimes, the opinion of Beckham has little to do with him as a football player and more to do with him as a person. Despite the fame and fortune, Beckham has always remained a passionate football player. Ultimately, he just loves to play. He wishes he could play forever. And surely, the game would be better off with him prolonging his career for as long as he could, right? You would think so.
There seems to be an unnecessary undertone to some of the dialogue related to Beckham. Upon his announcement, fans took to social media to voice their opinions, and he is definitely a polarizing figure who can bring out the ugly in some people.
But why is this the case when Beckham has always been a solid professional, a great role model for kids and is generally a very good bloke?
Is there a tinge of jealousy in the air?
If Giggs and Scholes can still play, why not Beckham?
Who can forget the emergence of the Manchester United kids? Sir Alex Ferguson's very own babes were the most refreshing thing to hit the Premier League. Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and David Beckham became household names and tabloid targets almost overnight!
The Manchester United kids, together with other great signings like Roy Keane, Eric Cantona, Ruud Van Nistleroy and Dwight Yorke, went on to dominate the Premier League for years. And as Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes remained at Manchester United for their entire careers, winning plenty, Beckham went on to play for Real Madrid capturing a La Liga title, and he also had a successful loan spell with AC Milan.
So why do people question whether or not Beckham can continue playing football at a high level? Is it because he has played in Major League Soccer for the last few years? Does that mean his talent has diminished? What else does he have to do to prove he can still play?
If it's OK for Giggs and Scholes to still be playing, then surely, it's OK for Beckham to keep going if he feels he can. All three players are 38 years old. And yes, Giggs and Scholes have played for one of the best teams in the world consistently over the years. But Beckham still has quality and still has the best right footed cross and free-kick execution in the game.
Why give Beckham a hard time if he wants to keep going?
What is wrong with capitalizing on your sports success? Thanks to Nike, Michael Jordan built an empire with the Air Jordan brand. Heck, he even dabbled in Hollywood, making the movie Space Jam. The world's greatest ever basketball player also promotes Hanes, Gatorade and has made millions and millions of dollars from endorsement deals throughout his playing career and beyond.
Granted David Beckham may not be the Michael Jordan of football on the pitch, but he is definitely a phenomenon off the pitch. Without question, Beckham is the most bankable footballer in the world. Add a pop star wife into the mix, and with that comes even more celebrity, fame and fortune.
You have to capitalize on the opportunity celebrity provides while you are the flavour of the time. As a sports person, you have a very small window to cash in on your success. You are only marketable for the time period of your career. You never know what can happen once you stop playing the game, even if you are David Beckham.
Very few in sports are on the same scale of Michael Jordan and Pele. They continue to be topical and successful because they were the absolute best at what they did in their own sport. Although David Beckham hasn't been the best ever footballer of his time, his crossover into popular culture and his signature free-kicks and crosses have elevated him to sports icon status.
Surely his talent and contribution to the game warrants the lucrative sponsorships deals he has acquired over the years?
Not only is David Beckham a great father, a successful footballer and entrepreneur, he also enjoys the finer things in life, like expensive cars and motorcycles.
Beckham is the people's Bond and looks pretty dapper in a good suit; plus, he has been a fashion icon on a global level for more than just a few years now. Throw in a little showbiz lifestyle and hanging with celebrity mates at Los Angeles Laker games, and surely, this should make Beckham one of the coolest men on earth.
Oh, and did I mention he's also good friends with the future King of England? All rise for Sir David!
Say what you want about Victoria's singing, but she is one smart woman.
Victoria Beckham might not have the best voice in the world, but she certainly has one hell of a brain on her. Known as the ultimate mastermind behind Brand Beckham, Victoria has carved David into a global fashionista and has created a career for herself as an influential fashion designer.
Say what you want about Victoria, love her or hate her. She is a spectacular mother and has juggled the Beckham empire and her family responsibilities with what appears to be ease and absolute sophistication.
Victoria Beckham seems to be the perfect wife. Mother by day. Strong businesswoman. Sex kitten by night.
What man wouldn't want to have that in their life?
David Beckham has played with some of the world's greatest ever.
The world complains a lot about not having great role models in sports or entertainment. When one does come along, we want to pick holes and find faults to criticize.
Look at what is happening to Tim Tebow. Granted, he isn't the best quarterback in the NFL, but he brings other value to a team and is a great role model to kids. But yet the media and fans destroy him. Why? Jealousy?
Just like David Beckham, Tim Tebow is handsome and in demand. Beckham has the talent to go with the entire package. Perhaps that is what rubs people the wrong way. The fact that he has it all. There was a time when he was just a boy from Leyton with a dream to play for Manchester United. His hard-working parents helped him fulfill that dream. Little did they know their wee London lad would become one of the most famous men in the world.
Beckham has worked hard for what he has achieved. He wasn't born with a silver spoon in his mouth. In some ways, he's the British version of the American Dream. Surely that is something to be celebrated.