This essay focuses on the Manchester United midfielder and England captain, David Beckham and his performance in the Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg against Real Madrid (May 2003). Beckham is an elite footballer who’s estimated worth in the game is 45 million. This piece will focus on six aspects of Beckhams life, which both affect, and are affected by, his sporting performance. Not only is Beckham a skilled performer but his image around the world is also extremely important to him. Thanks to his level of skill, his good looks and his marriage to Posh Spice he is one of the most famous sportsmen in the world, therefore making him one of the most familiar faces on the planet. This familiarity with the world’s public has lead to lucrative sponsorship deals but also media intrusion, both of which issues will feature in this piece. Also world famous is his ability to score free kicks regularly and the muscle action he uses will be scrutinized in this essay. The other side to David Beckham is his inability to control his temper.
Behind the face of the boy next door who everybody loves is a cauldron of aggression, which in the past has exploded on several occasions. The concept of Beckham’s aggression will be another focal point of this essay.
The first thing to be considered when approaching David Beckham is the game, which he plays. Football is the UK’s number one sport but the origins of it are often forgotten. Football started out as a mob game, lacking the structure and rules which today’s game is based upon. It was a territorial battle between villages, which included huge scale violence, this might provide the basis for why local derbies are often so reckless, and Beckham himself would have witnessed this in the Manchester derby.
This rivalry even relates to the game against Real Madrid as the world of football is influenced by globalisation, Real Madrid and Manchester United become all the more familiar and therefore their matches result in tense rivalries, Roberto Carlos vs. David Beckham signifies this rivalry personally. This mob mentality was gradually forced out when the game began to be played in public school grounds regularly. Rules developed as a result of public school athleticism enforced by Tom Arnold in 1828 at Rugby School to eliminate the bullying and brutality which public schools were all too familiar with. Although these rules varied from school to school, they mainly consisted of the traditional goal, size of team being limited and boundaries (touchlines) being created. The game itself became official in 1863 when University graduates formed The Football Association. Despite the forming of the sport by well-educated elite’s it is obvious today that football is a sport dominated by the working class, both supporters and players, like David Beckham, come from modest, lower class backgrounds. So why did this transition occur? The University Graduates who formed the sport became employers and encouraged the game amongst workers in an attempt to boost morale, which was low due to poorly paid jobs, and rationalise recreation. This was not the only reason; however, the elite’s were keen to instil middle class values and discipline on the working classes. To develop professional clubs working class players were encouraged to play against their gentlemen counterparts as was evident in the 1870 FA Cup Final, where Blackburn played against Eton.
Although this appears to have failed, with the working class rebelling through forms of violence and hooliganism, the sport of football has plucked thousands of kids from working class obscurity to world superstardom. So how on earth do these working class lads, with little education and limited vocabulary, cope with the media intrusion?
David Beckham lived his childhood in small terraced house in Walthamstow, East London. He was a shy and nervous boy with no great qualifications. Now he is one of the richest, most famous sportsmen in the world and he has to suffer the consequences. Hardly a day goes by now without David Beckham’s name appearing in a British Newspaper. In the build up to this game the media hype around him was quite incredible. Combined reports of fallouts with his boss Alex Ferguson and prospective moves to Real Madrid culminated on the night when Fergie left him out of the team, sparking a media uproar.
Beckham’s face is everywhere and no one doesn’t know who he is. We know everything about him, from his fetish for ladies underwear to his dressing room bust-up with his boss Alex Ferguson. However this information is rarely provided by David himself. The media focus on the Beckham family more than anyone else and sometimes it must feel as though they are living their life through the papers. This massive interest in David Beckham was sparked when it was announced that he was dating pop star, Posh Spice. Since then every detail of their life has been exposed through the tabloid press. The Beckham’s are photographed every time they leave their house, and this creates an enormous pressure on the family. The importance for David to maintain his “squeaky-clean image is massive, as anything he does wrong will be magnified and exaggerated by the press.
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