In case you haven't heard, Italian club AC Milan announced Thursday that Beckham will join the Serie A team on a loan deal from the Los Angeles Galaxy starting on Jan. 7.
Milan did not release details on the length of Beckham's stay, but it did say the midfielder remains under contract to the Galaxy and will return to the club for training camp and the start of the 2009 Major League Soccer season.
The current MLS campaign ended last week, but Beckham was keen to join another club in Europe so he can remain fit for World Cup qualifying, especially after English national team coach Fabio Capello has gone on record as saying he will not select players who are not active.
Loan deal with AC Milan
Where do I begin? Not where you would expect me to start, by launching into some mean-spirited tirade targeted at Becks.
Regular readers of this blog already know my opinion about Beckham: mainly that he is a one-trick pony, that his skills as a footballer are nowhere near commensurate with the media attention he receives, and that England will never - repeat NEVER! - win the World Cup as long as Beckham is on the team.
No sense is rehashing all of that again. Instead, I'll approach this from a different angle and lay the blame squarely at the feet of the Los Angeles Galaxy for this farce.
Ambition is a good thing and, generally speaking, it should be encouraged.
And I appreciate how much Beckham loves England, loves playing for his country, and would love nothing more than to deliver England a second World Cup.
I get it. I think it's commendable. Really, I do.
It's also incredibly short-sighted and more than a little naive for Beckham, who at age 33 is coming off a less than impressive season in MLS, to think he can help England win the World Cup in two year's time in South Africa, when younger and better players (David Bentley and Theo Walcott to name just two) should be given the chance to star for the Three Lions.
If Beckham wants to keep living in some dream world where he honestly believes he can help England win the World Cup, that's his business.
But that doesn't mean the Galaxy have to indulge his fantasy by allowing him to go to Italy for three months.
L.A. should have blocked the deal
Let's be perfectly clear here. Beckham is going to Milan so that he can stay in game shape for the English national team now that the Galaxy is on a hiatus. His Italian adventure doesn't help the Galaxy, the team that pays him a king's ransom, in any way.
In fact, it could hurt them, if - and I know this is a big if, but it's still a possibility - he gets injured and is unable to return to the Galaxy in time for the 2009 regular season.
The Galaxy should have firmly put down its foot and told Beckham he couldn’t go to Milan.
Instead, Los Angeles acquiesced and let him go, and in the process, the team came off looking weak willed and lacking any backbone.
That's not the type of image MLS, a league that already has serious credibility issues, should be projecting to the rest of the soccer world.
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