Next for Becks: the Olympics?

i-bd41a92ac8314e09f3b9fb2e9e4503c7-Beckhamtie.jpgYeah, you read right. Here we go again. Wonder what Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena is thinking?:

LONDON (AP) — David Beckham wants to play for Britain at the London 2012 Olympics, but doesn’t expect to play for a European club again.

The 35-year-old midfielder has put himself through a grueling schedule in recent years playing for AC Milan during the Los Angeles Galaxy offseason, but that took its toll as an injury ruled him out of the World Cup.

While accepting he has been pushing his body too hard, Beckham wants to play a role at the Olympics.

“If I’m still playing and I’m still considered to make a difference to the team I’d love to be
involved,” Beckham said Wednesday during a live Yahoo! video webchat.

A team of English-only soccer players is set to represent Britain. The Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish associations won’t be part of the team, fearing it would jeopardize their independence and voting rights within FIFA.

Beckham was at the World Cup in South Africa as a member of coach Fabio Capello’s support staff after being ruled out with an Achilles’ tendon injury. Beckham said he has been running for the past 10 days and should be back in action for the Galaxy within two months.

But when the season ends in November, Beckham will take a break, rather than seeking another loan to a top European club — which is a necessity to stay in Capello’s plans.

“I think it’s something I will have to think about carefully now — I don’t think it will
happen, to be honest,” Beckham said. “This injury came as a result of me pushing it too hard for the last two years — going to AC Milan when I could have had a few months’ rest.

“But I did it for a reason, I did it to be part of the England team and part of the World Cup … but this time around, when the season ends in LA, I’m going to have to take a rest and get myself fit.”

Beckham, though, still hopes to end his career at the 2014 World Cup — and score the winner in the final in Brazil.

Beckham fears that the England players who flopped at the World Cup — winning just once and going out in the last 16 — could be abused by fans when the new Premier League season starts next month.

“The players know it was disappointing because we didn’t perform,” Beckham said. “The manager can only do so much, then it has to be down to the players and when the players go on the pitch they know if they don’t perform they don’t win games.”

Beckham, who was hit by an intense public backlash after being sent off at the 1998 World Cup, didn’t want the current squad to face a similar fate.

“I hope not, but we do live in a world where that happens,” Beckham said. “You do enjoy the good times, but when the bad times come along you have to learn from them otherwise you just crumble … In 1998 it was tough and you just have to block it out.”

Beckham’s appearance on the sideline in South Africa led to suggestions that he could coach England one day.

“It’s not a passion of mine to be a manager of a football team,” Beckham said. “I’m passionate about the game and being there. I was wearing the suit — so people thought I’d be doing that (coaching).”

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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 and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at Cheers!
  • Frank

    I was hoping he would announce his retirement from the national team, but instead we get more nonsense from the Grumpy One. It’s time for him to devote some quality time to club futbol and MLS.

  • kingsnake

    That would be a first.

    Can we stop obsessing over Beckham, now? Or are we going to get him shoved down our throats for the next 40 years like the Kennedys?

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    If I’m Tim Leiweke and I’m reading this, I make arrangements to trade Beckham to Vancouver once the Whitecaps get up and running as an MLS organization. Beckham has outlived his usefulness to the Galaxy, as both a player and a marketing ploy, and has exhausted his credibility here. Heck, even Simon Fuller could see the future and resigned from Brand Beckham. Why would Vancouver want him? Well, he still has some credibility in Canada and, yes, he could help the Whitecaps sell tickets. Also, he could be a good influence in the locker room for some of the younger players (though that remains an open question). He’s not needed for that here: The veterans that Arena brought in, as well as Donovan’s maturity, have made Beckham superfluous as a clubhouse factor.

    Beckham’s signing will go down as perhaps the biggest ripoff in the history of professional sports in Los Angeles. Not that Leiweke and Anschutz care; after all, how else does AEG make money?

  • kingsnake

    Problem is Vancouver is an attractive international city with a nightlife.

    Trade him to Salt Lake instead.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    kingsnake, there’s one big problem with your idea. Salt Lake is a good team. Vancouver probably won’t be, at least its first season. Trading Beckham to RSL (assuming they have the salary-cap space) could very well backfire.

    At the very least, I would not protect Beckham in the expansion draft unless league regulations forced me to do so.

  • kingsnake

    Too bad MLS did not expand to Oklahoma City like the NBA did …