David Beckham’s stomach should be turning with the realisation that he left his boyhood team, Manchester United, for the opportunity to play for those tossers in Madrid. Whilst the ‘will he? wont he?’ saga involving Cristiano Ronaldo is boring me to tears at the moment, I can’t help but feel a strong hatred towards Real Madrid for belittling our club.
The way they have conducted themselves in regards to Ronaldo has been vulgar, and is just the latest example of a long line of occasions of poor behaviour from the current La Liga champions. They seem to believe that they have the God-given right to sign any player they wish, and too often, they succeed.
“You get used to this, Madrid’s behaviour on these things,” said Sir Alex Ferguson a couple of months ago. “Great clubs, clubs with great morals like Barcelona, have far better morals than Real Madrid will ever have. We know Real Madrid aren’t the only club who’d be interested in Ronaldo, but the others don’t come out and say it. Do you not think we’ve had much interest from the big clubs in Europe about our best players? Of course we have, but they don’t get into the nonsense Real get into. They’ve no moral issues at all. They think that they can ride roughshod over everyone, but they won’t with us.”
David Beckham, who famously left United back in 2003 in favour of the Spanish giants, has today praised Ronaldo, and admits he understands the appeal of Real Madrid.
Spoken like a true United fan…
Whilst I’m very aware there are definitely two strong and distinct opinions on Beckham, his comments are just further evidence to me that he is not the red many still imagine him as.
Beckham’s exit from United is one portrayed as the fault of Sir Alex Ferguson. His big ego ‘forced’ Becks out of his beloved club, apparently.
However, you only have to look at the fact Beckham spent 18 months renegotiating his contract before finally leaving to see he wasn’t the loyal victim he is painted as. Whilst agreeing on salary straight away, believed to be £92,000 a week, it was the all important image rights that the club and player couldn’t settle on.
“The negotiations have been going well and it has been going on for quite a while,” said Beckham. “It’s not the salary that’s a problem, that was sorted out in September. It’s just the image rights that needed a little perking up.”
According to reports, Beckham was looking for an additional £25,000 a week – £1.3m a year – on top of his salary to cover Manchester United using his image on club paraphernalia such as match programmes, stickers and merchandising including shirts, watches and mugs etc.
United weren’t prepared to offer him that, so Beckham decided to pimp himself out to the media. ”I’ve never said I would always be in Manchester, and I’ve certainly never said I would end my career there,” Beckham said. Translation: come and get me top clubs in Europe!
When Real Madrid signed Beckham, resolving a problem in weeks that he couldn’t do in 18 months with United, Beckham was overjoyed. “I know that I will always regret it later in life if I had turned down the chance to play at another great club like Real Madrid, which also has world-class players,” he said. “The deal was too good to turn down.”
Like most players who leave United, Beckham’s career has spiralled downwards since moving away from Old Trafford. Between his break through season in 95-96 up until his departure in 2003, Beckham won 6 league titles, 1 European Cup, 2 FA Cups. Not bad for 8 years of football. In the 4 years he spent at Real Madrid, he won just 1 league title, after being dropped for much of the season.
However, after previously encouraging Ronaldo to stay at United, he has today moved to support the potential move to Real Madrid, suggesting they are the only club worth leaving United for.
“He is the best player in the world at the moment and is a young talent that has proved himself over the last few years,” said Beckham. “Last season everyone saw what he did for Manchester United. The fans love him and there would be a lot of disappointed people if he did leave Manchester. But obviously, when I left Manchester United the only club I wanted to play for was Real Madrid.”
Unlike most United fans, who are currently disgusted with Real Madrid’s behaviour, Beckham doesn’t seem to have a problem with it. Rather than feeling embarrassed he ever left our great club for an organisation with such lowly morals and poor ethics, he chooses to ignore their behaviour, and instead, would be understanding of Ronaldo’s decision if he was to go there.
He is coming from a position of power and respect here, and his ciriticism of Real Madrid could prove really damning. For the man who made the decision to leave United for Madrid, now turning around and calling them out on their bad behaviour, could be a crucial blow in this fight. But Beckham is unwilling to do that.
Yes, Becks spent a few years in Spain, and I imagine he feels some bond with the club, however, if he’s the United fan people talk of him as, there should only be one priority here and one opinion. Real Madrid are scum bags and we need to fight them off for our sake, and the sake of moden day football, where all clubs will be losing their best players if United give in to them. Beckham, like too many high profile figures in this sport, is unwilling to stick his neck on the line though, sadly… and the fight goes on.