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Beckham plays 90 minutes, catches pitch invader at Neville Testimonial

Beckham (Getty Images)

David Beckham looked right at home in his Manchester United jersey.

Donning the No. 7 kit, the Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder played 90 minutes, nearly scored on a shot from distance and even caught a pitch invader late in Gary Neville's testimonial match against Juventus at Old Trafford.

United fell, 2-1, with Juventus youngster Manuel Giandonato scoring on a fantastic late free kick from a tight angle to provide the game-winner. Wayne Rooney played the first 30 minutes and scored United's goal only to have Italian international Simone Pepe tally the equalizer.

Highlights of the match can be found here, and highlights of Beckham's run-in with the invader can be seen here.

Beckham will miss the Galaxy's game against Houston Wednesday night, but he is expected to return to the lineup for the club's match against New England on Saturday.


  1. Always interesting that the expression “Mickey Mouse” league is so often used to condemn MLS as amateur based simply on its relationship with David Beckham. Think of the empire Disney built on Mickey Mouse!
    Forgive me, but this post finds me at the end of my rope with that often-expressed line of thinking, however it is phrased.
    Every time I read such comments I wonder why it doesn’t occur to people that any league that’s deficiencies can be blamed by its fans on one player, would have to be extraordinarily small-time, its fans extremely juvenile – or both.
    Far from any arrangement it makes with Beckham, give MLS enough respect to recognize that its deficiencies go much deeper and across the board, and that they will *hopefully* be addressed as the league grows. Just to name a few that preceded Beckham:
    – an atrocious salary structure that shockingly underpays so many players that it fails to attract enough good ones to make the level of play consistent and therefore televised matches much more than frustrating (to me live games are always fun)
    – a schedule that is not in line with, and fails to recognize, the international calendar; to the extent that it skipped not one day of regular league play during the 2010 World Cup Finals, including USA match days and the actual Final itself. How it nonetheless considers itself a serious part of the soccer world, save only for the “disrespect” allegedly shown by a single player, is beyond me.
    – a playoff structure that admits teams as if the league were a (very young) childrens’ summer tournament, in fact any play-off structure, although I do somewhat understand their perceived attraction to American audiences
    – which brings me to the last I’ll mention: completely underestimating the intelligence of American sports fans, who seem quite capable of grasping the inscrutable nuances of some of the best leagues in the world if the size of U.S. television audiences, and attendance at matches hosting visitors from those leagues, are any indication.
    League and fans should stop worrying about the comings and goings of a single player and pay more attention to their product on the field – where that player is doing quite a decent job this season by the way. (For those who would now point to Beckham’s salary, it is a drop in the ocean compared to what the league is losing due to its other short-comings, and at least pays itself).

  2. Tyler as far as we know doesn’t work for a European team nor is an agent in contact with European/foreign teams. (I’m sure he’ll let us know if i’m wrong).
    From what I know, being in the media with another sports website, most foreign teams and players take the MLS so much more seriously ever since Becks made the move to LA. Yeah it’s not taken as seriously as La Liga or the EPL but it’s still taken more seriously than it was 10 years ago and than several other leagues in South America, parts of Europe and Asia.
    His question as to one team in another sport that would allow a player to fly across for a friendly also doesn’t fall in line with any similarities to other sports because this situation wasn’t an ordinary situation. It was complicated by the fact that Gary and David are best friends and a number of players they came up with were playing in that match.
    I’m pretty sure that if Carmelo decides to move to the Chinese Basketball League when he turns 30something and after raising the profile of the league, decides to miss a regular season game to go back and play in an exhibition game involving his old AAU mates who all made it to the NBA and have one of the group retiring after said game, I’d be willing to wager that the Chinese team would let him miss the game to go. My opinion.

  3. That’s a terrible analogy mate.
    It’s more like a guy having to miss attending a party with his gf because his ex gf is throwing a party for his best friend and he wants to be there for his bf more so than being there for his ex-gf. As long as he’s not lying to his gf about his whereabouts and is open an honest, I’m sure his gf wouldn’t complain. Especially when in this case when he has elevated his gf’s status just by her being seen with him and the gf knows that the ex-gf is way too hot to take the bf back and so it would be a harmless party.
    I could go on.

  4. Had Beckham not signed, they would have gotten some other huge name to (money walks)…perhaps someone who doesn’t constantly look for excuses not to play with the team he signed with.

  5. Please learn:

    -LA don’t pay all of that $250 million, that was a figure thrown to the media who forgot to mention it included sponsorship money.

    LA has made far more millions than they’re spending on Beckham’s salary. The first 5 hours Beckham’s jerseys were on sale, LA made back his salary for that year. That doesn’t include increased ticket sales, other merchandising, other attention from the media, and probably a slight increase in TV dollars.

    You’re spouting out stuff you have no idea about.

    And MLS is better financially because of Beckham. No other player on this planet would of done more by just being associated with the league than Beckham. And MLS have not complained once.

    It’s all about the money. Beckham was never brought on to win anything. He was brought on for his name.

  6. MadKingGeorge you are mad!

    He caught someone doing something illegal and it’s his fault? He looked right p*ssed that the boy did that. It’s a game that should be about Neville and the players, not some 14 year old who wants to be famous for a minute.

  7. Reports say it was Fergie’s idea to calm the guys down and give them something to think about beside Saturday’s game.

    Fergie is a genius when it comes to man management.

  8. The MLS is a Mickey Mouse league.
    How can anyone respect you if you dont respect yourself?

    How do you think foreign clubs see the MLS?
    You had DeRosario TRAINING with a british team and Toronto knew nothing about it because its the MLS: the attitude being who cares what people there think.

    Next month, he will be going for an anal bleaching festival in Thailand instead of a game and Im sure the league will be understanding.

    -Please name me ONE team in ANY sport that would allow their marquee player to miss a regular season game to fly across the world for a friendly.

    -Has there ever been a worse 250 million dollars contract in sports?


  9. The problem is we don’t have any perception of what a testimonial means here in the US.

    It’s a kick about and absolute pure respect to the player getting the game – a full 90 is not the same as a full 90 of an actual game. It’s for charity and a last time for them to have a run around with each other.

    This was the only chance Beckham was getting to play in the red again, at Old Trafford, with his best man and his best friends, where he spent his glory days.

    Say what you will, but Arena showed him respect and knew it was good man management. Now Beckham is refreshed and ready for the rest of the season without distractions.

    If I was Beckham, I would of done the same thing.

  10. You’re missing the point. Beckham is a walking billboard and he’s saying that the league rates below an exhibition where he’s playing in another clubs shirt. It’s like your girlfriend skipping dinner with you because it’s her Ex’s birthday. It makes MLS look terrible. I hope the Dynamo hammer LA.

  11. A tip of the hat to you Ricky B Free sir.
    Wiser words have never been spoken on this blog especially when it comes to Becks, the Galaxy and MLS.

    You too as well Smash Famous.

  12. Be khan is too good for your shoddy league and is only here to take your money!!

    Keep buying the jerseys and tickets America!!

  13. It’s what it is.

    You have to realize that he’s not only a player in the MLS, but also an ambassador for the league.

    Our very own walking, talking billboard.

    Now if LA can win a MLS Cup that would be the ideal marketing.

    First we have to beat the Dynamo

  14. I dont know if yall watched the game, but that pitch invader was a straight child. Couldnt be more than 14 years old. They showed him getting dragged out by cops he was so young. No lie.

  15. Do you pay Beckham? Stop crying over spilled milk. Let the Galaxy and MLS handle their business.

    The Galaxy and MLS are in the soccer business if they think its good business to have Beckham on the payroll then so be it.

    It is not your money so stop crying over someone elses money.

  16. But Galaxy training sessions aren’t held at a 10 hour flight away and they’re not held at a time when they conflict with actual Galaxy Games.

  17. And yet when Becks is doing things like appearing on BBC for the Royal Wedding or doing The view or whatever, he’s never “David Beckham MLS and LA Galaxy player,” he’s always “David Beckham: former Manchester United player”

  18. Hell, why bother make him play at all in this league? Just give him the 6 million a year to occassionally say something about the Galaxy.

  19. Just imagine if the invader had injured Becks. Seriously, LA Galaxy, MLS, Bruce arena, someone, grow a pair. I mean, some clubs won’t even let young guys go play in the freakin’ Olympics but the Galaxy/MLS let Becks miss a game to go to this? And don’t give me that crap “he was going to rest anyway”… we’re 1/3 of the way into the season and part of his fatigue might be the trip back and forth to England for a damn wedding of a figurehead’s grandson.

  20. In July they’ll be in USA.

    In August there is probably going to be a Scholes testimonial (reported by the Guardian).

    In August Neville will be in even worse shape.

  21. “To all you Beckham haters, the MLS would not be world known if it was not for Beckham being with the Galaxy.”

    Er… I think the “haters” are complaining about the fact that Beckham ISN’T with the Galaxy. That’s sort of the whole point here.

  22. To all you Beckham haters, the MLS would not be world known if it was not for Beckham being with the Galaxy.

    Do you guys really think Landon would make the MLS what it is today just by himself?

    Beckham being at the Royal wedding and Neville´s game is more press for the galaxy. More press for the Galaxy and MLS mmm, that must be very bad.

    He gets paid by the Galaxy and the Galaxy gets money back when he goes on loan, Galaxy jersey sales and tickets sold. The Galaxy average 24k fans a game.

  23. What’s more irresponsible? Beckham flying to England for 90 minutes in a midweek friendly with another team or playing 30 minutes midweek before one of the biggest matches of your life? I honestly don’t know. What would SAF do if Rooney got some freak injury while playing in this game?

    Why wouldn’t they have this game next week after the Champions League final?

  24. Becks catching a pitch invader?

    Becks will do anything to make sure he makes news and has the publice attention. This whole thing was to make sure the Beckham brand lives in the public spotlight. He wants people to talk about how he betrayed the Galaxy in the states. In England, to outshine the star quality on the pitch he catches a invader of the pitch to make sure he is in the headlines.

    Becks will do anything for his Brand. That is why Becks made 40 million last year. His managment team is brilliant. It is the public who are Dunces. They deserve it.

  25. I don’t think it’s Galaxy fans. I’m certainly not one.

    The justification for Beckham being allowed to leave was that he would not play 3 matches in 1 week anways. So now, he’s played two this week. Based on Arena’s statements, will be possibly have enough energy to play well this weekend? In reality, he is hurting his team in two matches.

    Of all the times Beckham has shown he doesn’t care about MLS as much as he claims, this is the first time I feel like he blatantly stuck his middle finger up at the Galaxy and MLS. I just can’t imagine teams in any other league allowing this to happen.

  26. The real joke would be forcing Beckham to miss the honorary match for his best friend in order to play in front of 12k in Houston on a Wed night. That’d be a great management decision… a real moral booster for Beckham. Maybe he should miss the birth of a child too so he can play in the US Open Cup. David Beckham’s club career was Man U. Everything after that was selling jerseys. Manchester United’s 1998–99 season that was the most successful in English club football history.

  27. I think Galaxy fans should cool it a bit.. I know he hasn’t been the most professional in the past but 4 starters from the team that is set to face Barca for the CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL played in this game.. obviously it was a big deal for anyone involved with Man Utd, and you can say what you want about Beckham being with the Galaxy now, but he still has ManU in his heart..

    I very much doubt he would miss a Galaxy game for a Raul tribute match or anything of the like, but this is his best friend, both professionally and personally..

  28. Bruce Arena said Beckham would not have played mid-week anyways because he needed to rest. Then he goes and plays a full 90 in a meangingless match.

    I will support MLS because it is what we have here in the US, but the league really is a bit of a joke sometimes.

  29. Beckham should call Pires and tell him Thierry was just kidding – he really SHOULD come to MLS.

    Just think of the sound bites you’d get following that

  30. It’s like he did this deliberately to spit in the face of all Galaxy fans. If I was a Galaxy fan this would not stand…I’d burn down the club and throw myself into the sea.

    *crosses fingers*


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