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Beckham Doubt for World Cup
Achilles Tendon Injury Ends World Cup Dream
By Shane Clarke
London Correspondent
David Beckham, former England captain

Former England captain, David Beckham is today coming to terms with the fact that he will not be taking part in the World Cup in June. Beckham, who is England’s most capped outfield player with 115, was hoping to become the first English player to appear in four successive World Cups. He currently shares the record of three with Bobby Moore and Peter Shilton.

The L.A. Galaxy player, who is on loan at AC Milan in Italy, sustained the injury to his Achilles tendon in their 1-0 win over Chievo on Sunday. He was flown to Finland on Monday, where he underwent surgery to repair the ruptured tendon. Professor Sakari Ovara, who performed the procedure, declared that the operation was successful, and that the tendon was completely repaired. However, Beckham could still be out for up to six months.

This is a blow not just for the player but the whole team, which has been dogged by injury and controversy in the run-up to the World Cup. Beckham is not just a great player whose ball delivery skills are second to none; he is also a talisman for the team, and his presence in the dressing room tends to have a positive effect. With this in mind, it is hoped that he will travel to South Africa with the team in some capacity.

Beckham’s World Cup career has been beset by controversy and injury problems.

After his sending off against Argentina in the second round of France ’98, he was declared public enemy number one, with everyone blaming him for ruining England’s chances of winning. The former Manchester United star was booed at every ground he went to.

He was able to rebuild his reputation and later became England captain. His late goal from a free kick against Greece sent the team to the World Cup in Japan and South Korea in 2002. However, things did not run smoothly, and he travelled to the tournament not fully fit, having suffered a broken metatarsal in his foot.

In 2006, he was forced to limp off in the last-eight game against Portugal with a tear in his right Achilles tendon, and a lesion in the ligaments of his left knee. England later lost the match on penalties, leading a tearful Beckham to give up his captaincy.

Being 34 years old, there has been some speculation that this injury might actually end his career. However, he is determined to come back and rescue what’s left of it.

Beckham had been on loan at AC Milan in a determined effort to prove to England coach Fabio Capello that he still had what it takes to play for England. Capello, who is yet to finalise his World Cup squad, said, “David is a great professional and has worked very hard to be ready for the World Cup, so missing it will be a big blow.”

Whatever the outcome of this latest injury, one thing is for certain: David Beckham can look back on his career and be proud. He is arguably one of the best Midfield players ever to grace the game, and won numerous trophies with Manchester United, including the European Champions Cup, before moving on to Real Madrid in Spain where he enjoyed four successful years as one of “Los Galacticos”, playing alongside such legends as Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos and Luis Figo.

Whether this injury turns out to be career-ending or not, I know I speak for all of England when I wish him all the best and thank him for some of the greatest moments in football history.



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Shane Clarke serves as London Correspondent for The Seoul Times. He has been involved in humanitarian work for numerous years. He’s also a freelance management consultant. Having completed an honors degree in Law at Wolverhampton University, he then moved on to an MBA at Warwick Business School. He’s heavily involved in the fight against international parental child abduction to Japan.

 

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