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David Beckham Bends One Back

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Mike DeCourcy is guest-posting for a stint today, because even he cannot resist the charms of David Beckham and his amazingly perfect hair.--Ed.
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↵When the charming movie “Bend It Like Beckham” was given its title earlier this decade, the reference was to David Beckham’s inestimable ability to contour the flight of a soccer ball to accommodate his wishes. Turns out he can shape the truth, as well.
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↵Beckham was blindsided by the excerpts of Grant Wahl’s new book, “The Beckham Experiment,” which was released today by Crown Publishing.Inside its 288 pages, LA Galaxy teammate Landon Donovan blasts Becks for being a weak captain, an uncommitted teammate – and a skinflint.
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↵"If someone's paying you more than anybody in the league, more than double anybody in the league, the least we expect is that you show up to every game, whether you are suspended or not,” Donovan said. “Show up and train hard, show up and play hard.
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↵"Maybe he's not a leader, maybe he's not a captain. Fair enough. But at a minimum, you should bust your ass every day and that hasn't happened.”
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↵Beckham was affronted that Donovan would speak ill of a teammate to a journalist, so in response he saw no other recourse but to speak ill of a teammate to a journalist.
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↵“What Landon said is unprofessional in my eyes and in the eyes of every footballer in the world - you don't talk out against your teammates,” Beckham said, not only taking a hypocritical blast at Donovan but commandeering the opinions of professional soccer players from Austria to Zimbabwe to make his point. That’s power.
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↵"In 17 years I have played at some of the biggest clubs in the world and with some of the biggest players in the world, not to mention some of the strongest managers,” Beckham said. "And not once in those 17 years has there been a question about my professionalism.”
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↵The simple reason? With Manchester United and Real Madrid, Beckham was entirely professional and committed to his team’s success, even as his fame grew from that of a gifted right-sided midfielder to an Access Hollywood-style celeb. With the Galaxy in 2008, however, Beckham performed as though he were frustrated by the dreadful team that surrounded him and dying to escape to a more glamorous team – which he did, engineering a winter loan to Italy’s AC Milan. That was supposed to last a short time but ultimately took a 20-game bite from his 2009 season with the Galaxy.
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↵For the sake of Galaxy, Donovan apologized for making his points about Beckham through the media. It is instructive, though, that he never retreated from the comments themselves. Truth is the ultimate defense.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.