x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

David Beckham will be a perfect match for UAE

If Diego Maradona wowed the UAE, the Englishman playing football in the Pro League would knock it out.

Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham. Alex Gallardo / AP Photo
Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham. Alex Gallardo / AP Photo

David Beckham and the UAE: isn't that a match made in marketing/brand-building/star-struck heaven?

If Diego Maradona wowed the UAE, Beckham playing football in the Pro League would knock it out. The biggest difference being Beckham is an international star who can still play; he is 90 minutes from leading the LA Galaxy to their second successive Major League Soccer championship. After that he will be a free agent keen for "one more adventure" as he put it.

Why not the Pro League?

Clubs here have demonstrated an ability to entice great players late in their careers. Fabio Cannavaro comes to mind. George Weah. Luca Toni.

Beckham would be a superior investment because he would lure thousands of people to stadiums. He demonstrated his drawing power in North America for five-plus seasons.

If he came here, he would enter the booming Asia market, and reinforce his considerable "brand". He also would be able to live in no small comfort in Abu Dhabi or Dubai (called "paradise" by Maradona).

The UAE would offer his wife, Victoria, and their children what she described as a low-stress holiday, just as she enjoyed in 2009, when Beckham created a stir in Dubai while training and playing with AC Milan ahead of a practice match with Hamburg.

"Everyone's been very respectful," she said then. "I will come back for that reason."

Some club board in the UAE will consider an offer to the most famous active player in the world, even for only the second half of the current season. Big names have come before. But not big like Beckham.