It seems strange that a result as momentous as 4-0 against AC Milan can be shoved into the background by events elsewhere in the ground. In the words of the Pretenders, "Don’t get me wrong, I'm glad we spanked their Milanese butts" (roughly), but there was more than football going on at Old Trafford.
David Beckham, our fallen hero, his United career cut short by the fatal flaw of ambition (and his union to Lady MacBeckham) returned to stand with his people. It’s almost enough to turn me religious.
On many an occasion I have had to explain my unswerving loyalty and good will towards the man they call Goldenballs. The ire that David Beckham can induce in the average football fan and journalist defies logic.
I can understand why people might be jealous of him. How many of us wish we had the superstar wife, stellar career and endless riches that he possesses. For journalists this must be even more frustrating, sitting in a quiet copy room for your whole life, writing what somebody else demands of you and gazing upon somebody who has it all could make you bitter. But that is the attitude of the unenlightened.
This is why David Beckham is a great, great player and an exceptional man. He has achieved everything in his life through hard work. Pure and simple. There is no more virtuous way to accumulate success than through that method. That he is not the most naturally gifted footballer on the planet is not in question. But there can be few who work harder; his willingness to train extra hours at United was legendary. Do you think Ronaldinho will be playing Beckham’s age? Nup.
Despite having an atrocious effigy of himself strung up in London. Despite putting up with obscene chants about his family from every football ground in the country. Despite being put out to pasture by the Real Madrid president. Despite being treated shabbily by Steve MacLaren. He has never complained. Not - one - single - time.
The fact the he is a United great is a non-debate. The clock said 90 minutes in the Nou Camp in 1999 and we were finished. David Beckham kept running. He did not give in. Three volcanic minutes later and we were European Champions for the first time since the Vietnam War.
I don’t care who you are, if you own a football team and the most recognisable player on the planet joins ranks with those opposing you - it makes a salient point. On Tuesday night at Old Trafford David Beckham showed that he is still running, running for us. Thank you.
In the stands things were a little edgy during the match. There were two major protests in the Stretford End. Two giant banners at the top end and one in the lower stand. Protesters blocked the aisles so that security could not get to the banners and the supporters behind them. It was definitely a different atmosphere to recent games and there was hardly a red and white scarf in sight.
I am no expert on the psyche of rich businessmen but I suspect that pride, ego and saving facing are prominent factors in their decision-making. I do not expect the Glazers to back out after this; perhaps they will become even more tenacious. So shall we. Will their desire to make money overpower our love for our football team? You MUST be joking.
Join MUST here and sign the letter of support.
Protest photos and priceless insight from the Russian Red Lipstick Crusader.
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