Beckham in Afghanistan

And before anyone asks, no, I don’t know why we’re getting advance word of a supposedly “surprise visit,” but the part-time Galaxy player never passes up the opportunity for some good publicity:

LONDON (AP) — David Beckham is flying to Afghanistan for a surprise visit to boost morale for the thousands of British troops stationed there.

The British Forces’ news service says the soccer star is accompanying troops on a flight from Oxfordshire to the British military base in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand Province.

The former England captain will meet hundreds of British and American troops, as well as medical staff and patients.

The 35-year-old Beckham is also expected to drum up support for England and its bid to host the 2018 World Cup.

Beckham said Friday he has wanted to visit Afghanistan for a long time. He says he admires the troops and their work makes him “very proud to be British.”

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!
  • Ellen

    Wow: nor do you ever pass up the opportunity to slate Beckham. If you don’t know who supplied the notice or why, it seems you can’t know it is Beckham looking for publicity in this case. You certainly, however, know how much attention anything that includes his name garners, which may be the reason that you so often manage to slip criticism of Beckham into columns that seem to have no connection to him at all. I’ve found that curious in the past, but a dig in this case seems a bit more inappropriate than than the usual gratuitous banter.

  • Kingsnake

    Never pass up an opportunity to slate the Pool Boy just like he never passes up an opportunity to media whore himself …

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/soccer Nick Green

    Couldn’t have put it better myself.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    On the one hand, Beckham is doing a good thing by visiting the troops in Afghanistan, regardless of his motive. He’s already far ahead of Capello, Rooney, Terry, Ferdinand, Gerard, et al in that regard.

    On the other hand, Leiweke’s stomach acid must be working overtime after hearing about his biggest investment going to a war-torn nation. What would Tom and Katie say? What would Herbalife say? What would the suite holders think?

    Then again, anything that energizes Leiweke’s stomach acid is always a good thing. :D

  • Jack Sullivan

    Have some perspective boys. I make no claim to be above anyone else in my possibly unhealthy obsession with sport. But, along with all of you, I can enjoy that from the safety of the stands, in the comfort of my home and family, chatting away (again quite safely) with you lot on these blogs. Obviously the kids Beckham is visiting most certainly cannot. If his visit brings any of them a moment of diversion or a small connection to what they have left behind and know they may never return to, it is unequivocally excellent.

    Since you do, however, equivocate, I would say that Beckham has no need to raise his profile anywhere in the world outside of the US, and visiting British troops in 115 degree heat in the dessert hardly seems either most convenient or productive way to polish his image here. Sometimes it just is what it is — no matter how strong the motivation to twist it.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Well said, Jack. We take our freedom for granted far too much in the West.

    I’m reminded of a line in the 1969 remake of “Goodbye, Mr. Chips,” starring Peter O’Toole. O’Toole’s character (“Chips”) was talking with a fellow teacher (played by the late Michael Bryant, a superb and underrated British actor) about the latter being forced to return to Germany under Hitler’s orders. From memory, this is how the dialogue went:

    O’Toole: “Disobey”

    Bryant: “I have a mother in Dresden. She’s an old lady, I know, but…”

    O’Toole: “They wouldn’t…”

    Bryant: “They WOULD. They would, my dear fellow and we both know it. Oh, how lucky you English are, and how little you appreciate it.”

    Ditto for 21st-century Americans, Jack.