At the very start of the video below, David Beckham is asked how he can be committed to American soccer and the LA Galaxy when he's going on loan with AC Milan and still trying to play for England - basically saying he's a part time player in the MLS. The person who's asking the question is Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl. Who also happened to write a book about Beckham and the LA Galaxy called The Beckham Experiment. Beckham was on the cover of the book but didn't agree to take part in the book unless he was paid, so Wahl used sources at the LA Galaxy to get quotes and information.
Of course, Beckham doesn't take too kindly to the question, asking Wahl if this is for another unauthorized book. Beckham says he's fully committed to the Galaxy and always has been. He sums things up by saying, who wouldn't play for AC Milan if they had a chance to. What soccer player wouldn't sign with AC Milan if they had the chance. And, who wouldn't play for their country.
Beckham also addresses the controversy with Landon Donovan, who said in Wahl's book that he doesn't know if Beckham is committed to the LA Galaxy and is frustrated.
This is all in the past of course, Beckham went on to win two MLS titles with the Galaxy and the Donovan frustration disappeared and he later said he was in the wrong. In a way, it gets to the way the book itself stirred up the controversy. Wahl interview Donovan for the book and this is where his negative comments about Beckham came from. What's more, it seems Wahl isn't really acknowledging the fact that without Beckham as the center piece of his book it wouldn't have been published.
I've read the book. It's very good. It went on to become a New York Times best seller. But the main story lies in how players survive on the LA Galaxy making less than $50K in some cases while Beckham is making $5 million. Players like Allen Gordon for instance. This is what's unique about the book.
Beckham isn't the first big star to come over to the MLS. Others have come and made piles of money they didn't deserve while lesser players on the team have side jobs coaching kids or running camps to get by. However, Beckham is a star in another "Galaxy", as his image off the field is in some case bigger than the one on, what will all his endorsement deals and marriage to former Spice Girl, Victoria.
But Beckham makes it clear that he's always been a professional when he steps on the field and nobody can deny him that. And you can't doubt Beckham's ability to play - his passing, crossing and free kick abilities are unmatched.
Still, all the travel and loan deals must have taken a toll on Beckham. It must have become too much for him at times. Flying off to play for England, staying longer in AC Milan, it all started to add up. Sadly, he ended up tearing his Achilles and missing out on the 2010 World Cup for England. Interestingly though, Beckham has said that the main reason the LA Galaxy had success was because of Bruce Arena - who knew how to manager the team. Donvoan's frustration could have been more related to the turn over of Galaxy coaches, and when Bruce Arena came in he put this right.
I wonder what Beckham's last year with the LA Galaxy would have been like if he'd been selected to the Great Britian Olympic team? He still flew over for the opening ceremonies - appearing on a jet boat with the Olympic flame - but he didn't lace up the boots for the team. It seems like he channeled the frustration into scoring goals and playing well for the LA Galaxy.