As David Beckham kicks off the final game of a long and celebrated career, newspapers across the world have been full of retrospectives and galleries of his career in pictures. Long known for his fashion triumphs and faux pas (remember the sarong and the his and hers matching leather suits?), one photo surely trumps all others this week. Just like every player has moments on the pitch they would like to have back (the World Cup shoot-out miss and red card, for instance), he must regret his hairstyle for the meeting with Nelson Mandela. The photo with Mandela has made every retrospective this week as a shorthand for his celebrity transcending sport, but the choice of cornrows for the occasion . . . . oh dear!
Having a dig at David Beckham is almost a national pastime in the UK, and we’re not immune to it ourselves, having had a good chuckle at him falling flat on his backside in a nice suit while taking a free kick in China. That been said, whatever you think of him as a player, he has won 10 league titles in 4 different countries and is the only Englishman to score in 3 world cups. That’s a pretty impressive career by anyone’s standards.