Early this year, David Beckham announced that he would join the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer. At the same time, his Spanish club Real Madrid announced that, though Beckham wasn’t coming to America until the summer, he would never play for the club again.
Soon thereafter, Real Madrid, on the verge of falling out of the race for the Spanish championship, reversed that decision. Its fortunes quickly changed. Inspired by Beckham, the Spanish giants became essentially unbeatable. In fact, the club did not lose any of the 12 matches Beckham participated in after his reinstatement.
Meanwhile, the struggling English national team also recalled Beckham. Unable to score against Israel, Croatia, and Macedonia (at home) without Beckham, England played a 1-1 draw with mighty Brazil and then defeated Estonia (away) 3-0 with Beckham back in the side.
Today, Real Madrid faced Mallorca needing a victory to give them the Spanish title. Beckham, playing with an ankle injury picked up against Estonia, managed to give his team 66 minutes, during which his magical right foot nearly produced two goals. Although Real Madrid didn’t manage to put Mallorca away until after Beckham departed, there is no doubt that his now ex-team owes its crown to his play after returning to the starting line-up.
Soon American fans will have the opportunity to see Beckham. We won’t witness mazy dribbling or special athleticism, just the most accurate and creative right foot in recent soccer memory.
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