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At last! We’ll have the ‘divine’ Beckham.


I wrote this article about Beckham’s coming to the States a few weeks ago, but I waited to publish my point of view because I had opposite thoughts and wanted to be sure to say what I think, STICKING TO THE FACTS, without being carried away by enthusiasm or disappointment. This means that I wrote this, before he got injured!!!!!

One thing is fore sure. His coming, opens a new era for MLS soccer and, more in general, for USA soccer. But this means that, if this opens a new era, it will close the one before, forever, and this will be a point of no return!

So, either professional soccer will explode and become a main sport like in the rest of the world or it will……………………………….........................disappear!

This already happened in the Cosmos era, when stadiums where full, for many seasons, with crowds of 80,000 spectators. That was MORE THAN ANY OTHER SOCCER STADIUM IN THE WORLD!!!!!

Result?……………………………............Cosmos disappeared!

This is the same situation and, as we say in Italy, I have the sensation that USA soccer, “took a step longer than it’s leg!”

I’ll try to explain why, because about the arrival of Beckham, there are very positive aspects and others, probably more, really negative.

POSITIVE

Beckham, he’s probably the most popular soccer player that the USA knows about. He represents the equivalent of Tiger Wood, Michael Jordan or Barry Bonds. Everyone, even if not a soccer lover, knows his name and the fact that he is a soccer player. I’m sure that the same people, never heard about Fabio Cannavaro, voted best soccer player of the year, or Thierry Henry , or Wayne Rooney, or Andriy Shevchenko and probably know about Zinedine Zidane, in my opinion one of the 10 best ever, only for the head but to Materazzi, and not for is unbelievable soccer career!

Probably the same people know Ronaldinho, but not like Beckham, so for sure he’s the perfect player to bring here and give a great forward impulse to the soccer movement. Movies like “Bend it like Beckham”, or TV soccer academy in which he teaches soccer to kids, plus short commercials in which he anticipated his probable arrival in the States, created the condition for his arrival.

Beckham is much more than a great soccer player. (even if I believe that he WAS a great soccer player). He is like a brand. It’s a ‘product’ that sells easily, and the USA is the promise land for him. He’s a kind of ‘soccer machine’ that can easily be popular like the iPod or a cell phone with all the most futuristic functions. So, his name or his face, associated with perfumes, cars, cell phones, computers, TV‘s, soccer jerseys or just casual wear like jeans, shoes (not necessarily soccer shoes), fashion in general, or anything that makes hair stronger, muscles grow or fat go away, will be sold by the tons! And these items, are only a little example and I’m sure that all the companies that use his imagine, will generate a business of billions of dollars for the next 5 years. (that’s the length of the contract he signed). And, on this topic, let’s not forget his wife Victoria, ex-Spice Girl, that is better than him in promoting herself or in pair with him!

And, let’s not forget, either, that he will join the Los Angeles Galaxy. Los Angeles means Hollywood and being that he is a great friend of Tom Cruise, in general 1+1 makes ONLY 2 and those 2, can generate anything and that anything means, other billions of dollars!

Coming back to soccer, his presence on the field, will surely bring to the stadiums tens of thousand more spectators for every game and this is exactly what American soccer needs. More spectators that pay for a ticket to see a game. Plus the TV networks will show much more games live and produce more soccer specific programs, like the ones made for football, basketball or baseball.

Kids love Beckham!!!!! Even if millions of kids already play soccer, other millions will try to emulate him and this would be great.

In conclusion, for the POSITIVE aspects strictly connected with soccer, his arrival in the USA is a blessing for the soccer movement!

NEGATIVE

Beckham is 32 years old. Signing a 5 year contract means playing till 37. Even though he hasn’t had big injury problems, he can only play ’decently’ for 2 or 3 years tops, but I really doubt that he can play at an acceptable level at 36 or 37, even without considering possible, and probable, injuries during these 5 years!

More important, even if for Americans he is a legend, in Europe he WAS A LEGEND that ended 3 years ago, when he left Manchester United for Real Madrid. In that moment, in my opinion, his career ended, even if he was received like a soccer emperor in Madrid.

In the last 3 years that he played for Real Madrid, he, Ronaldo, Figo, Owen and Zidane, were responsible for what was and still is the most horrible period of Real Madrid’s soccer history!!! Also in this season, even though they are close to the top of the standing, after the arrival of Coach Fabio Capello, it’s already a great failure, no matter what the ending of the season!

Same with the English National Team, in which Beckham was the Captain and, more important, one of the players responsible for England’s failure at the last World Cup. The actual new coach, put him out of the team immediately, and seems intent on not calling him anymore, even though recently he’s opened a little possibility. Much less, after he leaves Europe and comes to play in Los Angeles.

Let’s not forget, even though he’s still a legend for the USA, he wasn’t in the 30 nominations for the 2006 Golden Ball and he wasn’t in the 50 nominations for 2006 FIFA Player of the Year! This, I believe, means something.

Let’s also not forget that he has a contract with Real Madrid that will end this summer. Real Madrid clearly said that they WOULD NOT HAVE RENEWED THE CONTRACT so, basically, even if he had offers from other teams, at the moment he signed for the Galaxy, was virtually UNEMPLOYED after August 2007!

Obviously, a player with is past, would have sighed for some other European teams, but being 32, he would have found a contract for 2 years with, maybe, an option for the third, when he would be 34 and, that option, would have had to be evaluated in THAT MOMENT! Anyway, the contract would have been for 4, maybe 5 million dollars a year, in the most optimistic case! So between 8 to 10 million, with maybe an option for the third year.

What could the Galaxy have offered, to convince him to come to the USA? What economic offer could they have proposed to make him, his wife and his Agent, consider coming? Anyone that has a minimum of good sense, would have offered 12/15 million for 3 years. Let’s exaggerate, let’s say 20, just to be sure that he will say yes. This could have matched the European offers of 8 or 10 million and for sure Beckham, and ANY OTHER SOCCER PLAYER WITH HIS CHARISMA AND HIS AGE, would have said…….YES!

So, what did the Galaxy offered instead of 15/20 million for 3 years?

250 MILLION $$$$$$ FOR 5 YEARS!!!!!!!!

He will make 500 times the money that his teammates make! Every year, for 5 years, he will make double the money that ALL the other players of the 13 MLS teams will make, PUT TOGETHER! And this means more than 300 professional soccer players!

Are these Galaxy people out of their minds?

One of 2 things. Either they are out of their minds, and that could be possible, or there are financial reasons and advertising plans to deeply utilize Beckham’s image to make the investment of $250,000,000 in 5 years, a business that could make some sense.

But, one thing is for sure. This contract will DESTROY the precarious equilibrium of the MLS salary cup and in less than one year, after Beckham’s arrival, will create enormous problems with the management of the other players in the 13 MLS teams.

Probably you know that the MLS players, can’t be paid more than $400,000 a year, and the whole team can’t be paid more than 2 million dollars.

So, the global salary cup of the 13 teams, all together, is 26 million dollars! I’d like to repeat that Beckham, will have 50 million dollars a year and that is almost double the money that is made by all the players of the 13 MLS teams, put together!!!!!

Can you imagine something more stupid than this?

I have a GREAT imagination, but I can’t imagine something MORE STUPID than this! And I haven’t yet talked about the other teams. Who will they put under contract, utilizing the new Beckham rules? With what money? The sponsors are not stupid. They can create ONE phenomenon, but they can’t create 13 phenomenon, just to make the other 12 teams happy and their supporters too!

I understand that there are TV dividends, sponsor contracts, millions if not billions of people that watch TV, and the business is immense but, this kind of money, ONE MILLION DOLLARS A WEEK, or more, forgetting for a few seconds that this is DEEPLY IMMORAL AND DEEPLY OFFENSIVE FOR ALL OF US, could be given (???) if you are the number one in the world in your sport!

So, there are ONLY 2 sport guys that make that kind of money. One is Tiger Wood, with $86 million and the other is Michael Schumacher with $60, who retired last year. They are the unchallenged number ones in their sports, in the past, in the present and, probably, in the future!!!!

One million dollars a week? Do you really think that the other Galaxy players will risk breaking their legs for him? They will give the ball to him and implicitly say: “Go, super star, and win this game by yourself to make the million of this week!” And, believe me, it will be like this, because it has already happened in all the teams in the world, where this absurd situation was created in the past!

Who is Beckham in this moment, for REAL? Almost an ex soccer star, that in this moment, and probably in the last 3 years, was and still is ENORMOUSLY OVER ESTIMATED and NEVER was the number one in the world in soccer! Would you compare him with Pele or Beckenbauer, when they came to play for the Cosmos, at the end of their career?

And, without going into the past, would you compare Beckham, to Ronaldinho, Rooney or Cristiano Ronaldo? These 3 players, are FOR REAL among the top 10 players in the world and MUCH YOUNGER!

If you divide the 50 million a year given to Beckham, among these 3, they’d come to play here, TOMORROW MORNING!!!!!!!

So, why this absurd contract for a players who NEVER was as good as them, is not among the first 50 in the world and is 32 years old?

I tried to give you some unequivocal FACTS, forcing myself to limit my personal opinions.

Up to you, to arrive to the conclusions. I arrived at mine and I’m worried about this agreement of $250,000,000, because it will be less than 5% about soccer and 95% about something else! The other teams could never, even think about doing the same so, what will happen?

Money, unfortunately, is not made in rubber and can’t be stretched!

Coach Gianni


P.S. It is very curious that when Beckham was asked about the colossal contract, he said: ”I’m not coming for the money. I would love to work with the American kids!!!!!”. Maybe you don’t know but, in Europe, there are no kids anymore! Very sad thing so, I understand why he has to come to America! And because it’s a ‘family’ decision, “to permit our kids to start school in America“, Victoria Beckham, ex-Spice Girl, last week arrived in Los Angeles, (looking for homes and schools) and will consider the offer from Playboy, for having her published, obviously not ‘dressed’ as a soccer player!
To have the pictures of their mother naked in a magazine that sells millions of copies, is exactly what kids need for not being embarrassed the first day at school!

It’s like when Shevchenko left A.C.Milan for Chelsea. He said: ”I speak only Ukraine and Italian. My wife speaks English. So, we need to go to London and all speak in English so we’ll be able to say to our son that we love him!”

Simply pathetic! Both of them! And their wives, too!

But, if someone will pay me ‘just’ half million $$$$ a year for the next 5 years, I’ll go to the North Pole and teach penguins to do the figure 8!!!!!!

And, very sincerely, I’ll do it…………………………............. FOR THE MONEY!!!!!

Even if every year I’ll send half to Children International, with the other half, I could be very happy for the rest of my life!

Coach Gianni
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Posted on 16 Mar 2007 by coachgianni
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