Following David Beckham’s announcement to leave the MLS, football (or soccer) fans around the world have been speculating as to where his next stop will be. Currently seven clubs (Real Madrid, AC Milan, QPR, Shanghai Shenua, Monaco, PSG, and Manchester United) have been rumored to have an interest in Beckham. At thirty-seven years of age, Becks isn’t what he used to be, so choosing a team and league will take a lot of serious thought, or will it? Sega’s Football Manager did a simulation where they placed Beckham in each of the seven rumored teams he’s rumored to be joining in January.
Beckham at Monaco
Monaco is currently in France’s Ligue 2 division. Beckham would undoubtedly be the best player in the club. He averages 7.89 in 17 appearances and creates 11 assists for his team-mates, easily bringing Monaco the Ligue 2 title. Once ascending to Ligue 1, Beckham would remain a key player. Though they wouldn’t win the cup, they’d finish with the 10th spot, averaging a rating of 7.58 across 27 appearances. By the end of the simulation, Beckham became a fan favorite at the club.
Beckham at QPR
QPR Head coach Harry Redknapp has said he’d like Beckham to lead QPR out of the bottom of the standings of the Premier League. During Redknapp’s time as head coach of Tottenham Hotspur, he attempted to get Becks on loan transfer from the LA Galaxy. In the simulation, Beckham helps QPR remain in the Premier League, averaging a rating of 7.38. Redknapp changes his formation in the second season to a diamond 4-4-2, making Beckham useless and giving him very few minutes on the pitch. By the end of the simulation, Beckham is unhappy at QPR and wants out of the team.
Beckham at A.C. Milan
Returning back to the diavoli (the devils) would take some pressure off head coach Massimilliano Allegri since over the past 12 months, Milan have sold a lot of their key players. In the simulation, Allegri signs Beckham in January, but the midfielder isn’t a big part of his plans. After only 6 appearances with AC Milan, Beckham is dropped down to the reserve squad. Beckham would remain in the reserves for 6 months of the 2013/14 season before announcing his retirement.
Beckham at PSG
PSG is a regular at the Champions League. Regardless of their success they don’t seem to have the strong fan base they deserve, a big name like Beckham could help change this. Beckham would put PSG on the global spotlight. However PSG head coach, Carlo Ancelotti might find it hard to find add Beckham to his already talented squad. Beckham finds his way to the first-team until the end of the 2012/13 season. The team wins the Ligue 1 title with impressive performances from Beckham against top teams like Bordeaux, Lyon, and Marseille. His second season is less as exciting for Becks as he loses his right midfield position to Jeremy Menez and Ezequiel Lavezzi who are both currently at the club. Beckham only makes 5 appearances in his second season and no longer serves a purpose at the club.
Beckham at Shanghai Shenhua
In recent years, Chinese soccer has shown improvement though out the league. Shanghai Shenhua already is already home to Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka. Adding Beckham to the squad would not only help the squad, but the league because of the star power and quality of players. In the simulation, Beckham brings in higher attendances and higher jersey sales to the Chinese Super League. Unfortunately for Shenhua, they have a disappointing season and finish in 9th place. Only Beckham and Drogba would perform above average. Beckham provides a spectacular 17 assists in his debut season, earning him 11 Player of the Match awards. By the end of the simulation, Beckham is still playing regular first-team football, something he hasn’t done at any of the other clubs. Unfortunately for Beckham, his season is cut short due to an injury.
Beckham at Manchester United
A return to where it all started is still an option for David Beckham. Sir Alex Ferguson still uses his veteran stars Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes (which have played at United their entire careers), so Beckham wouldn’t look out of place. Beckham would make a handful of appearances at Old Trafford, but for the most season he’d serve as a backup to Nani. In games he would play, he’d score an average of 6.83 goals. Manchester United would finish at second place in the Premier League, behind their fierce cross-town rivals Manchester City FC. Beckham would play in the crucial Manchester derby on April 6th, but would face disappointment as City wins 3-1. In the 2013/14 season, Beckham is no longer in the plans of Sir Alex Ferguson and announces his retirement in February.
Beckham at Real Madrid
Real Madrid isn’t shy from hiring the biggest names in football-soccer. Real Madrid’s president, Florentino Perez is obsessed would love the chance to bring Beckham back to Madrid. Head coach Jose Mourinho also wouldn’t mind as he’s stated that he admires David Beckham’s quality of play. The simulation highlighted the main issues that Beckham would face. Madrid’s squad is already packed with talent. Beckham would have to earn his place against players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Luke Modric, and Xabi Alonso. With only three appearances, it becomes clear that Beckham is no longer at the level Real Madrid expects their players to be.
By the look of it, Football Manager’s simulations show that Monaco would be the best fit for Beckham. Monaco is the only club where Beckham could most likely finish his career off with one final league title. Football Manager recently simulated the MLS Cup final where-days before the match-they predicted LA Galaxy as the MLS champions.