David Beckham, remember him?
After missing 10 games for his Los Angeles Galaxy team because of a knee injury, the English soccer star, 32, finally re-emerged on the field Thursday for a brief but noticeable appearance.
Running on to the field in the 67th minute against Red Bull New York, the former England national team captain flashed some brilliance with his ball passing and took five corner shots – one of his specialties.
The teams tied 1-1, which keeps alive Galaxy’s hopes of finding a place in the Major League Soccer final play-offs.
Before the match, Beckham blogged on his Web site about his fragile fitness level.
“Obviously I’m not completely match fit yet, but I hope to get on and play a little, which will help my fitness,” he wrote. “The team have been absolutely brilliant lately, winning five games in a row, so I know it’ll be a challenge to get back into the starting eleven.”
Coach Frank Yallop added, “He’s a little bit rusty, obviously, with his play but he’s not hindered by his injury, which is good. It’s just his match fitness which is going to be biggest problem.”
Beckham did not speak to reporters after the game, and his rep refused to comment on how Beckham felt about his own performance. The dad-of three is now expected to play on Sunday against Chicago as the league enters the playoff race, but Yallop said the decision would be made “Saturday or Sunday.”
Earlier Thursday, Beckham was seen soaking up the sun at the Luxe Hotel Sunset Boulevard with the extended family brood visiting from Britain. The soccer dad eventually cut short his poolside pleasure while wife Victoria, 33, lingered longer with her relatives.
As his soccer season draws to a close in early December with two Galaxy matches in Australia and New Zealand, “Victoria will be starting the Spice Girls tour, and David will spend a lot of time looking after their three boys,” says a source. “Some of the time they will go on tour with her but [other times] he will look after them at home in Los Angeles.”
• Reporting by SHRUTI DHALWALA