There have been varying opinions on David Beckham over the years but one thing you can say about him is that he sure made the most out of his talent.
A hard worker and great professional, Beckham was more than a supermodel and a brand. He was actually a pretty good player who managed to play for three of the biggest clubs in the world: Manchester United, Real Madrid and AC Milan.
And now, finally, at the age of 38, his playing journey is over.
On the whole, you have to say Beckham was a legit soccer star though clearly not big enough to in the future be part of “best player ever” debates.
While being captain of England was problematic in that he often did not deserve to be among the starting eleven, Beckham could rise to the occasion and give his teams a chance to win.
This has to strike fear into the hearts of those lining up against the young Grenadian Kirani James in this weekend’s inaugural 2013 Diamond League 400m. James happens to be the best 400m runner in the world these days (he won Olympic gold in London), and here he effortlessly powers away from the field over the last 70m to win the Chris Brown Invitational in the Bahamas a month ago.
James’ winning time of 44.72 is the fastest in the world this year and should set him up for another great summer season.
Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators is the embodiment of today’s fast, creative, puck-moving defenceman. 2011-12′s winner of the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenceman is – like Bobby Orr, Paul Coffey, Scott Niedermayer or rival Kris Letang – a player who controls his team’s attack from the back and is more dangerous than most forwards in the other team’s end. Karlsson’s speed and passing are key to the Senators’ success; before his 2013 season was cut short by an Achilles tendon injury, he was on his way to another outstanding season.
Born: Lansbro, Sweden, 1990
Height/weight: 183 cm (6’0″) / 82 kg (180 lbs)
NHL teams: Ottawa Senators
Drafted: 2008 by Ottawa Senators (first round, 15th overall)
Awards: James Norris Memorial Trophy (best defenceman) – 2012; first NHL All-Star team – 2012