Every time the transfer window opens, United are linked to “the next *insert great player’s name here*“, with youngsters tipped to fill boots they probably never will come close to filling.
Since David Beckham left United at the end of our Championship winning season in 2003, there have been several people hailed as “the next David Beckham”. Darren Fletcher was predicted to do just that following a bright youth career, but clearly has fallen some way short.
Cristiano Ronaldo, aged just 18 and costing £12 million, was given the number seven shirt that Beckham had vacated a month previously. Ronaldo has since reflected on this moment, saying, “After I joined, the manager asked me what number I’d like. I said 28. But Ferguson said ‘no, you’re going to have No. 7’ and the famous shirt was an extra source of motivation. I was forced to live up to such an honour.”
With Ronaldo tipped to win the awards for the best player in England, Europe and the World this year, awards Becks himself never won, it appears as though Ronaldo has superseded the expectations put on him to fill the gap left by Beckham. However, news has broken today which suggests Ronaldo won’t actually ever become “the next David Beckham.”
Beckham’s career at United was cut short as his love for United and football seemingly diminished, and his face began appearing on more and more products. Had somebody told us in 2003 that in a few years time Beckham would count the likes of Tom Cruise and Will Smith amongst his list of pals, we wouldn’t have been too surprised. Beckham became a celebrity, a brand, and his football career took a back seat to that success.
Beckham has been a face for Gillet, Disney, Motorola, Armani, Pepsi and Adidas, to name a few, he’s had a minor role in a film, as well as having his own branded aftershave. He was described as “the ultimate metrosexual” by the fella who coined the term, which denotes a heterosexual man who has a strong concern for his appearance, and he has become a style icon with his ever changing haircuts.
With Ronaldo being put in the media spotlight, as the best footballer around, representing arguably the biggest club around, and let’s be honest, the fella ain’t bad looking, there were fears Ronaldo’s footballing career might decline in the same way. After all, Ronaldo is now the age Beckham was when he appeared in his first Brylcream advertising campaign.
However, these fears should subside today with news that Ronaldo has turned down a massive sponsorship deal with a hair product company, believed to be Brylcreem. The People reported that he has turned down a massive £1.5 million to be the new face of their product range, with Ronaldo citing his focus on club football as the reason for declining. He’s too busy concentrating on performing and improving for Manchester United to have his eye taken away from the game and on to the large scale advertising scene.
And United fans everywhere breathe a huge sigh of relief…