David Beckham’s dream of playing in a fourth World Cup looks over after he tore an Achilles tendon in AC Milan’s 1-0 win over Chievo on Sunday ending his hopes of featuring in a fourth World Cup for his country in South Africa. Beckham will fly to Finland on Monday for surgery where he will be treated by specialist surgeon Sakari Orava and will then face between five to eight months of rehabilitation.
Both England manager Fabio Capello and his trusted assistant Franco Baldini were on the phone to offer their best wishes for Beckham to ultimately make a full recovery, knowing they could write the 34-year-old out of their own plans for South Africa.
The injury was sustained without Beckham coming into contact with anyone. Coach Leonardo said after the game “Beckham’s injury makes us feel terrible. He is an extraordinary guy and today’s game proves it yet again. David understood immediately that he had torn his Achilles tendon”
Match winner Clarence Seedorf found it hard to celebrate knowing that Beckham could have a long injury lay off. “It’s always ugly to be out because of an injury” said the Dutchman. ”But it will mean that we all need to give everything we have for those who will not be with us. They deserve that for what they have done so far this season.”
Beckham now misses the showpiece in South Africa while there must also be doubts over his career. He recently joined Milan for a second loan spell from the Los Angeles Galaxy in a bid to prove his fitness to Capello.
Whilst Beckham must now concentrate on overcoming an injury that threatens his entire career, Capello has to make alternative plans. Although Beckham spoke of his fear of missing the World Cup in the wake of Milan’s hammering by Manchester United last week, there was little doubt he would have made Capello’s final 23.
His ability at set pieces remains unmatched in the England squad and Capello viewed Beckham’s experience as a vital tool in his side being able to wind the clock down in tight situations. Capello will now have to cope without that assistance seeing that his right sided options are starting to dwindle.
At an age where both successful physical and mental comebacks from such an injury must be considered somewhat doubtful, it will indeed be an ironic twist to Beckham’s career should his final appearance on English soil prove to be the one he made for AC Milan AGAINST Manchester United at the same Old Trafford theatre where he made his Premier League debut way back in April 1995.
Can Beckham recover and make a comeback to football after this setback?