David Beckham has been given permission to attend Gary Neville's testimonial match in England by Los Angeles Galaxy coach Bruce Arena. The match will take place on Tuesday and mean Beckham will miss the Galaxy match on Wednesday against the Houston Dynamo.
"It's my responsibility," Arena said during a press-conference after Saturday's 1-0 win over Chivas USA. "So if you want to throw darts, the darts should be thrown at me. I'm the person who has to accept the responsibility in that decision. And I think it's the right one to make."
Arena said he had planned to sit Beckham for the Galaxy match anyway, in an attempt to keep his midfielder fresh during a congested period of the season. The Galaxy play another match the following Saturday against the New England Revolution and they have already played a league-high 13 matches.
So far, Beckham has played in 11 of those matches, contributing a goal and six assists. Generally speaking, he has been one of their better players, although at 35 years old it's clear that Arena is conscious of trying to keep him fresh.
Neville will be playing in his final match for Manchester United on Tuesday against Juventus. Neville and Beckham came up through the Manchester United youth system. Beckham was the best man in Neville's wedding and they reportedly consider themselves best friends.