How Good Was David Beckham, Really?

Real Madrid

Years: 2003-2007
Strengths: Experience, service from dead ball
Weaknesses: Complacency, didn't fit in with tactics
Highlights

Both player and club were partially to blame for Beckham's relative lack of accomplishments in a Madrid uniform. After a much-ballyhooed €35 million transfer from Manchester United and a strong start under manager (and former United assistant) Carlos Queiroz, Beckham's contributions and form fell off right around the same time the club began changing coaches (what felt like) every couple of months. When Real finally did settle on a coach they wanted (Fabio Capello) in 2006, he relegated Beckham to the bench in favor of the younger, faster José Antonio Reyes. This slight did two things for Beckham: It spurred him to bring his game to the US, and also lit a fire under him as he began to play as well as he had in years. Despite Madrid's last ditch attempts to keep him, Beckham moved on after 2007 from what was certainly his least successful career stop.

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