Monday, March 15, 2010

They think it's all over: David Beckham out of World Cup after tearing his Achilles tendon
By Daily Mail Reporter

Hobbling out: David Beckham leaving his hotel in Milan on crutches today and, right, arriving at the airport, his injured left leg in a surgical shoe

He flies to Finland and will be operated on today

Capello: It looks like he's out. It will be a big blow

Beckham says he is 'upset', but is hopeful of making a 'swift' recovery

David Beckham's World Cup dream appears to be over after he suffered a serious ankle injury which threatens to end his England career.

The midfielder was left in tears after he tore his left Achilles tendon during AC Milan's Serie A encounter with Chievo, with the distinct possibility of ending his hopes of featuring in a fourth World Cup for his country in South Africa this summer.

Beckham left his hotel on crutches this morning to take a private flight to Finland where he is due to arrive this afternoon and be operated on by renowned doctor Professor Helmu Orawa.

Hobbling out: David Beckham leaving his hotel in Milan on crutches today and, right, arriving at the airport, his injured left leg in a surgical shoe

Is it all over? The midfielder is consoled as he is carried off the pitch

Agony: David Beckham pulls up as his Achilles tears with no other player near him

Broken dream: England midfielder David Beckham leaves the pitch after being injured during AC Milan's victory over Chievo

He added: 'I am very sad for David that he has suffered this injury.'

Writing on his official website today, Beckham said: 'I am on my way to Finland to see a specialist and have a scan on the injury.

'I am upset but wants (sic) to thank everyone for their messages of support.
'I hope to make a swift and full recovery.'

Beckham pulled up in agony without coming into contact with anyone else, limping to the sidelines for treatment in a match Milan went on to win 1-0.

Support: Beckham thanked fans for their support on his website, admitting he was 'upset' following his injury

Milan coach Leonardo said after the game: 'Beckham's injury makes us feel terrible. He is an extraordinary guy and today's game proves it yet again.

'I cannot enjoy this evening considering this serious injury. David understood immediately that he had torn his Achilles tendon.'

Medical experts believe it will be at least three months before he will be able to start training and around nine months before he can play competitively again.

Out: Victoria Beckham will miss out on the World Cup

At the age of 34 he is already nearing the end of his career and, although exceptionally fit, this latest injury could signal the end of professional football for him altogether.

It also means Beckham's wife, Victoria, will also have to scrap her plans for the World Cup.

According to reports earlier this year Mrs Beckham had planned to stay in a separate hotel from the other England WAGs .

Friends have said she made the plans before revelations surrounding players Ashley Cole and John Terry emerged.

She also arranged to take sons Brooklyn, ten, Romeo, seven, and five-year-old Cruz, to visit children around Cape Town as part of her work for charity Save The Children.

Just two weeks ago a source close to Mrs Beckham said: 'Victoria is, of course, 100 per cent supportive of David, and will be there to cheer him and the England squad on.

'But she does not consider herself a WAG in the traditional sense - that is not her at all. She has her own successful career.

'There was no way she was going to be staying anywhere near the WAGs this World Cup, so she has rented a beautiful flat for herself and the boys.'

David Beckham will now almost certainly miss the tournament in South Africa while doubts have also arisen over his future.

He recently rejoined Milan for a second loan spell from the Los Angeles Galaxy in a bid to prove his fitness to England manager Fabio Capello.

Heart-break: Beckham (bottom) lies on the pitch in front of AC Milan coach Leonardo

Sad farewell: Beckham grimaces in pain as he hobbles out of the stadium

It's all over: Pain etched on his face, Beckham is driven away

'Beckham is not well,' said AC Milan midfielder Ignazio Abate. 'To see him suffer like that has really touched us.'

Clarence Seedorf found it hard to celebrate his match-winning strike knowing that Beckham could have a long injury lay-off.

'It's always ugly to be out because of an injury,' said the Dutchman. 'But it will mean that we will all need to give everything we have even for those who will not be with us.

'They deserve that for what they have done so far this season.'


The Hollywood story of David Beckham has met an unhappy ending.

The 34-year-old was seemingly heading for a fourth World Cup finals appearance after accumulating 115 caps, but his dream of sharing in success for England in South Africa this summer has been cruelly taken away.

Behind acres of tabloid news-print and obscured by celebrity obsession and unimaginable piles of cash, Beckham is a man whose only real desire is to play his best football for the best club that will have him.

Glory days: England's David Beckham passes the ball during a World Cup qualifying match against Andorra at Wembley Stadium in June 2009

Hollywood might have seemingly been made for him but it turned out to be a film script too far. When Beckham gave up the Tinseltown life to sign an initial short-term loan with AC Milan the message was clear - it's not over yet.

But it is his second spell in Serie A - taken in desire to prove his competitive ability for South Africa - which has spelt the end of his World Cup hopes and possibly his career.

Whether Beckham may have made the final 23-man squad will now never be known, but he offered a different option to Fabio Capello, a man who the charming Englishman won over at Real Madrid after he announced his move to California.

Merchandise: The Beckhams launch the David Beckham by James Bond Collection for Adidas in Los Angeles

Beckham's resurrected ambition will have come as no surprise to England boss Capello, who has always viewed the player in a way so few others have come to do - as a footballer rather than a celebrity.

Brought up in the best possible environment at Old Trafford, Beckham was a member of the famous Manchester United youth team which swept all before them and provided the backbone for the club for generations to come.

In those days, all he was interested in was playing alongside team-mates like Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and the Neville brothers, Gary and Phil. A future first-team place appeared inevitable.

By 1995, Beckham had graduated into a first-team regular alongside stars such as Eric Cantona, and on the opening day of the 1996-97 season he gave the first glimpse of his genius by scoring from the halfway line against Wimbledon at Selhurst Park.

By then he had also had his first taste of international action, making his debut in a World Cup qualifier against Moldova in 1996, having been named the Professional Footballers Association's Young Player of the Year.

But in the ill-fated 1998 World Cup campaign Beckham hit the headlines for the wrong reasons when he was sent off for lashing out at Diego Simeone in the last 16 match against Argentina, and he was widely blamed for costing England the game.

It took some time for Beckham to win back the England supporters but on the red side of Manchester it was a different matter as he helped Sir Alex Ferguson's men claim an unprecedented treble in 1999.

Beckham finished second in the World Footballer of the Year awards behind Rivaldo, and to the irritation of Ferguson had begun blossoming into a fully-fledged celebrity due to his relationship with Victoria Adams - aka 'Posh Spice'.

The impact of that relationship upon his playing ability was keenly analysed when Beckham became embroiled in a row with Ferguson over his decision to miss training while his wife was away at a fashion shoot.

Bend it like Beckham: David scores his first goal for LA Galaxy with a free kick

In 2003, his tempestuous relationship with Ferguson came to the fore again when the United manager kicked a boot which struck Beckham in the face after his side's FA Cup defeat to Arsenal, requiring stitches.

At that point it became clear Beckham had no future at Old Trafford under Ferguson and it was no surprise that he should sign with the only rival club to merit his services - Real Madrid.

Beckham shone in his early days at Real and was an integral part of the side which claimed the Primera Division title in 2007 but his contract negotiations were proving problematic and his first-team place no longer assured.

By now, the sheer magnitude of Beckham's celebrity was impacting his status as a footballer and leading to the suspicion that clubs were interested in him as much as a means to increase their own merchandising as to covet him on the pitch.

And when Beckham announced he would relinquish the England captaincy following the 2006 World Cup, shortly before quitting Real to sign a lucrative Major League Soccer contract with LA Galaxy, it appeared his days as a leading player were over.

Ambassador: Beckham during the launch of England's 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids at Wembley Stadium

Capellom then managar at Real, banished Beckham to the reserves but the midfielder's hard work prompted a recall and he justified the Italian's faith.

Beckham was initially overlooked by new boss Steve McClaren, although he was subsequently forced into a humiliating U-turn.

But Beckham seemed set to suffer the same fate under McClaren's successor and his former Real boss, Capello, when he was left out of the squad for the Italian's first match in charge against Switzerland.

Yet just when it looked like Beckham may never get to achieve such lofty international heights his seemingly slumbering instinct for football at the highest level tore free of its celebrity shackles once again.

Beckham has revelled in his new life in Milan and had been rewarded by Capello with the chance to fashion one final hurrah on the international stage.

He surpassed the record number of outfield caps won by Bobby Moore - England's World Cup-winning captain - and was moving in on Peter Shilton's all-time cap record.

But far from merely accumulating caps, Beckham had a dream of emulating Moore and the class of 1966.

Now the dream is over.

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