Where will Beckham end up next?
Published: 02.12.12 / Written by: David Gold
David Beckham has confirmed that this year he will be leaving the American side LA Galaxy for what he says will be one last challenge.
So where will the former Manchester United man end up when he finally makes a decision on his last port of call?
One of the most talked of options is going to Australia. There he could link up with former England team mate Emile Heskey, or the more illustrious Alessandro del Piero. Del Piero’s decision to move down under was a watershed moment for Australian football, and Beckham may be tempted to help raise the profile of the sport over there yet further still. If he were to join an Australian team, the sport in the country would get a huge lift.
Alternatively, there is the more conventional choice of Paris St Germain. The French side’s pursuit of Beckham last year was publicly known, and the player seemed to come close to making a move to the city of love. It would be a good move for Beckham financially, for sure, although that will not be his motivation at this moment. He would also do wonders for the PSG brand that their Qatari owners are trying to create. But there is little chance of first team football.
More football would be played if he made a move to somewhere like China. Chinese teams have been increasingly prominent as they splash the cash ever more in recent years. Signing Dario Conca from Brazilian side Fluminense was a marker for the Chinese, and since they have brought in Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka. Beckham would give the game there a huge lift and increased impetus. He may even end up linking up with Frank Lampard if he moves there.
Another option could be to sign for a team in Qatar or elsewhere in the Middle East. Beckham may well be tempted to make such a move, to try something completely different before he hangs up his boots. He would join Raul in the gulf if he makes that decision.
Then there are the wealthy Russian clubs. Anzhi Makhachkala could be interested, whilst other sides with plenty of money in the country like Kuban Krasnodar may be tempted to try and make a landmark signing.
In the meantime the uncertainty and debate will only be a good thing for ‘brand Beckham’. The former England captain will be the subject of fevered debate for the next month and that will only benefit more the team who end up signing him. The club will reap the benefits of the enhanced brand, and it may be a huge symbolic gesture of sorts for Beckham to make. This is one of the great professionals of the modern game. Beckham has given so much to the sport, and for all of the criticism he receives for the commercialisation and celebrity factor he has brought, he has always been a dedicated and talented player who is an example to others.
It may be fitting though, were he to end up back in England to complete this season before hanging up his boots. What price a move back to Manchester United to be reunited with Alex Ferguson for one last time, before both quit the sport? Or perhaps a move to Tottenham, where it all began, or even West Ham, a stone’s throw from the place of his birth?