Zidane: Beckham Rule Sent to Bed Early?

With a number of sources suggesting that the rumored arrival of Zinedine Zidane appears less likely today than it did on Friday, perhaps it's time to join Frank Dell'Appa in reining in expectations about a bum's rush of aging foreigners.

As much as seeing Zidane in Fire red (or white, depending on location) would be an exciting thing, that simply must be tempered by the fact that the "French legend" is heading down the wrong side of the hill. And I remain convinced that, marketing aside, these aren't the kinds of players to help Major League Soccer (MLS) take the proverbial next step. Sure Zidane is good - I'm guessing he'd still be better than half of MLS at 40 - but he's not going to win all that many games on his own, not anymore. In no small way, I count this something close to a good thing.

Personally, I'm hopeful that the Beckham Rule's unacknowledged Phase I - e.g. the signing, acquisition, and lavishing of riches upon David Beckham - is now complete. And I think Dell'Appa does well when he hints at what Phase II will look like:

"Beckham should raise the Galaxy's game; but an Andres Guardado or Pavel Pardo could do that as well, for a lot less money."

When I watch the EPL these days, or even the Champions League, I'm watching out for players who bring a lot to their team, who could come to an MLS team as an outright star, but who couldn't command a payout that would demolish a given team's piggy bank. Let's just say MLS needs to think less about Stevie Gerrard and more about, oh say, Bolton's Kevin Nolan.

And, please, don't interpret that example as suggesting that MLS clubs limit their search to England...there's a whole world out there.

Then again, I'd argue the league would be better off still exploring another possibility Dell'Appa raises in his article:

"It makes more sense to contract five high-level players at, say, $2 million each than to break the bank for one import."




Anonymous said...

Only what is missed here is the real reason the Beckham Rule was passed:

To put buts in seats.

Also not MLS club can sign 5 at 2million. They can only have ONE player with the option of getting another for a total of TWO through trading for another clubs unused slot.

People who suggest this stuff have little understanding what is driving this thing. It's not just to upgrade the quality of play, it is mostly to upgrade the amount of serious interest in the league.

The Manly Ferry said...

Right. I see and acknowledge all that. That's why, when discussing the value of these players for the league, I wrote "marketing aside."

Regarding the "5 at $2 million" that's why I described that as "exploring the possibility."I know the Beckham rule well enough and understand what it's primarily for as well. I wrote what I did precisely to question that thinking. could be wrong, but I don't think Zidane, or any other player I can think of, won't generate the buzz that Beckham's did. I mean, I saw the Beckham's on friggin' Access Hollywood last night; I put the odds of Ronaldo or Zidane garnering that kind of coverage pretty damned high?

And that's the question in play here: with only a limited number of world-sized players able to generate buzz perhaps the league should focus more on bringing in players that will improve the quality of the league. It's a long-term versus short-term calculation based on the all-too-reasonable fear that, once a casual fan sees Beckham play, they may not be all that impressed.

footbal tickets said...

Yes real madrid is missing the services of zidane and also his experience.Now with beckham going to LA Galaxy madrid is in a bit of bother.

I am not sure real will win an cups this year