The World Cup dream of England’s most famous footballer has been shattered.
David Beckham’s playing future was plunged into doubt as he suffered serious damage to his Achilles tendon while playing for Italian club AC Milan.
The 34-year-old was contacted by England boss Fabio Capello, who commiserated with him as he looked certain to be ruled out of the trip to South Africa.
Beckham was hurt during Milan’s Serie A encounter with Chievo without coming into contact with anyone else. He then limped to the sidelines for treatment.
Milan coach Leonardo said he felt “terrible” about the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star’s injury. He added: “He is an extraordinary guy and this game proves it yet again. I cannot enjoy the evening considering this serious injury. David understood immediately that he had torn his Achilles tendon.”
He recently joined Milan for a second loan spell from the Los Angeles Galaxy in a bid to prove his fitness to Capello.
The injury could be a final twist in a footballing career that has never been far from the back – and indeed front – pages.
He became one of the most sought after celebrities for his exploits on and off the pitch, thanks to more than 100 appearances for England and his marriage to former Spice Girl Victoria.
Whilst Beckham must now concentrate on overcoming an injury that threatens his entire career, Capello must now make alternative plans. Although Beckham spoke of his fear of missing the World Cup in the wake of Milan’s defeat by Manchester United last week in his high-profile return to Old Trafford, there was little doubt among sporting experts 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.
Source: Press Association