Becks can still be a star in 2010

2010-03-16 00:00

LET’S get one thing straight here, folks. David Beckham’s absence from the World Cup is probably a blessing in disguise for Fabio Capello and England’s chances.

For starters, the world’s most celebrated part-time footballer was never a starting option for a serious match — he is simply over the hill. His inclusion would have sidelined far more penetrative players like Aaron Lennon — who is, ironically, also injured right now — Theo Walcott, and even James Milner.

With the current spate of injuries, England will do well to get their full complement of players to their Rustenburg base on time. But back to Becks.

It seems the Italian taskdriver Capello has never forgiven himself for dropping Becks while he was manager at Real Madrid. For those who don’t know the full story, the gist of it is that Capello told the then America-bound Becks that he would never kick another ball at the Bernabeu (Real Madrid) because he had made up his mind about going to play in another Galaxy.

A few injuries later, and Becks was back bending it like only he can, and he played a key role in the Madridistas’ winning the league that season.

So Capello probably feels compelled not to overlook his lucky charm again.

The fixation is nothing short of embarrassing, and I am sure that there are former players all across Blighty chortling into their Tetley bitter in the knowledge that the only way Beckham will feature in the 2010 proceedings will be in a suit and tie — or some sort of sponsor’s costume.

Heck, that’s an excellent idea. Imagine if the South African Football Association (Safa) cashed in on Becks’s sudden availability and roped him in for the opening ceremony and such festivities?

Why, can you imagine the strapping Englishman looking resplendent in traditional Zulu gear, bumbling over his clicks like a tourist trying to acquaint himself with Xhosa?

It would make a great sideshow — we could even call it “Learn South African, and blend it like Beckham”. After all, if we limit it to just one tongue — Zulu, naturally — we are bound to have complaints from minor cliques like Sothos, Xhosas and the odd Van der Merwe.

So we can let Master Beckham go wild, and create his own version of “fanagalo”, complete with his obligatory “innit”, “geezer” and “the fing is”.

It would be a great addition to Africa’s first World Cup. We could create a whole new dialect — call it colonialists’ convo bites if you want.

You see, folks, brand Beckham is far too precious to be wasted on the ice-cold beaches of Clifton or the marble floors of Hyde Park, while the world’s biggest road show is in town.

Besides, he may have to be renamed “Frozen-balls” if he spends too much time in the Cape during that month. The waters of the Atlantic are not for the faint of heart, David — not even in summer! Clearly then, this is a cash cow just waiting for the right kind of tenderpreneur to step up.

I am not sure Julius Malema cares much for whities who play soccer, but perhaps he and Becks can reach an agreement while they quaff a few bottles of Dom Perignon somewhere in Sandton.

It would make a welcome change to see Julius doing something for the good of the country, and Becks is never shy of a bit of publicity — even if it is at the risk of embarrassing himself.

Besides, any man who wears sarongs can certainly pull off “ibeshu”*.

Let’s make it happen.

*That’s traditional Zulu wear for males, for the Xhosas who don’t know!

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