Anorak

Anorak | The Real Story

The Real Story

by | 3rd, July 2003

‘IF anyone had any doubts that Real Madrid’s interest in David Beckham was based solely on his ability as a footballer, yesterday’s press conference will surely have dispelled them.

‘And when do I get to wear this shirt?’

It is certainly no accident that Beckham has been given the No.23 shirt – the same number as that worn by basketball legend Michael Jordan.

And the words from the club and the player were chosen to try to counter the view, particularly in Spain, that this is purely a commercial decision.

Beckham himself felt the need to stress how important football is to him, something that is taken for granted with any other player.

‘Of course I love my family,’ he said. ‘I have a wonderful life, but football is everything to me and joining Real Madrid is a dream come true.’

Real president Florentino Perez also stressed that the club believe in Beckham as a footballer.

But he also made it clear that Beckham’s contribution to Real Madrid will not be confined to the pitch.

‘He is a man of our times and a symbol of modern-day stardom and what is certain is Real have signed Beckham because he’s a great footballer and a very dedicated professional,’ Perez said.

‘His team spirit is unsurpassed and he is one of the best English players of all-time and if only because of that he is with us.

‘We love Beckham because he makes us the best team on and off the pitch.’

However, the test will be how Beckham goes down with Real fans. They care little for the club’s profile in Asia or for its merchandising reach – they only care that it wins.

There is not a side in the world that would not want to have Beckham in its squad, but it is now up to the man to prove himself on the pitch.

Only if he does that will Perez be right in his prediction that Beckham ‘is a great player who is going to become part of the club’s great history’.



Posted: 3rd, July 2003 | In: Back pages Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink