Real chief slams Beckham over MLS move

January 16, 2007

Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon has launched another bitter attack on David Beckham, claiming the former England captain will be 'an average cinema actor living in Hollywood'.

Any hopes of an amicable agreement between Beckham and Real over the remaining six months of his contract look doomed following Calderon's astonishing outburst.

The Real president also said coach Fabio Capello's decision not to pick Beckham again was justified because not a single club had been in contact to request the 31-year-old's services.

Beckham had been free to talk with other clubs since January 1 and last week announced he had turned down a two-year extension with Real and signed a five-year, £128million deal with Los Angeles Galaxy.

Calderon said: 'David Beckham will be an average cinema actor living in Hollywood.

'The proof that our technical team was right in not considering his continuity has been ratified by every single technical team in the world, because no one, with the player having been free, has wanted him.'

Beckham, who met up with the rest of his team-mates to have lunch in a restaurant in the Spanish capital today, is now prepared to sit it out for as long as necessary - even it means spending the next six months watching the Spanish giants from the sidelines.

Hopes of an early move to LA Galaxy appear to have been quashed, and the former England captain is stuck in limbo.

It is understood however that there is no possibility of the midfielder attempting to end the impasse by offering to buy out his contract and his chosen course of action is now to turn up for every training session and try to prove to Capello that he is worthy of consideration for the first team.

Beckham's position in having signed an agreement with a different club six months before the end of his contract is by no means unique - indeed Henrik Larsson was in just that situation last season at Barcelona.

The Sweden international, now in a loan spell at Manchester United, agreed a move to his home-town club Helsingborg last February but remained a key player for Barcelona and turned the Champions League final against Arsenal their way when he came on as a substitute.

Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard believes there is no reason why Beckham should not be playing.

He told Spanish daily Sport: 'I wouldn't sideline the player on those grounds. You have to look at what is in the best interests of the team as a whole.

'Everyone wants to be a winner and if a player has a contract elsewhere there is no reason why he cannot still play.'

LA Galaxy general manager Alexi Lalas said Beckham's move to the USA has been structured around him arriving in August.

He said: 'Our position is unchanged with regards to David Beckham. We look forward to welcoming him in the summer and we respect his chance to honour his contract with Real Madrid.

'All our plans are that we will welcome David here in the summer.'