Posted: 1/15/2007


    I was reading the Sunday morning edition of EL PAIS, with a column by Julio Cesar Iglesias with the headline above about Beckham leaving Real Madrid for Hollywood.  Becks IS EVERYWHERE. In fact his 2 meter high face is on every bus shelter in Andalusia, advertising the Gillette´s latest razor, FUSION, to be on sale on 18th January. De La Ciencia Ficcion a La Cienca. Gilllette Te Trae el Futoro de Afeitado.  However, on my trip to Sevilla to watch Real Betis Balompe vs Real Madrid in their centenary year at Estadio Manuel Ruiz de Lopera, he was nowhere to be found. The 0-0 draw in EL COPA de REY was made exciting by the green and white clad LOS BETIOS fans in their Alcatraz like stadium for the Kings Cup round of 16 first leg. 35,000 was not bad. They were singing their club songs throughout. Former Man Utd team mate Ruud Van Nistelrooy was strolling around for 70 minutes until replaced.   BALOMPE is the 'literal' translation of the English word football, rather than futbol as is univerally used. Becks ' 2 meter high poster was on the bus shelter outside the stadium.The day before I watched terrible Malaga succumb 0-3 to Real Zaragoza in front of 4,500 fans at ESTADIO LA ROSELEDA, about average for this competition.

   I read  Mundo Deportivo, Apuestamania, and AS, three big Sunday sports newspapers who all felt it was in everybody's best  interest if David Beckham was released early from his contract, particularly since coach Fabello had stated he would never select Becks again this season. It would cost Real about $5 million to keep him until the end of La Liga season, and by Monday morning Beckham was still showing up at training.  On the day he signed his contract 4 years ago Real sold 8,000 replica jerseys with BECKHAM, while on Sunday when they hosted and beat Real Zaragoza 1-0, they reportedly sold only one. Tom Cruise was evidently helping Victoria find a large California mansion, and Spanish maid to help 7 year old Brooklyn keep up with his Spanish. She is looking at lots of properties in the Hollywood Hills this week and has already nixed Lionel Richie's $8 million place with only 4 bedrooms, as too small. Brooklyn's name has been registered at an exclusive private school in Los Angeles County.   I don't know if Victoria will get jealous when she realizes that both male AND female reporters are allowed in locker rooms after matches in USA. Freedom of religion is sacrosant in America and Cruise and Katty Holmes practice Scientology and the Beckhams are free to visit RODEO DRIVE and practice their religion, Hedonism.

   The multi million contract is dependant upon appearances, full houses at the Galaxy Home Depot Stadium and on the road, and WINNING matches and titles. What are MLS going to do now when everyone knows that attendances are inflated about 40% and suddenly fans see twice as many in a stadium as before, but the league can't announce a crowd more than the capacity!!  In The Yorkshire Post, there was a big interview with 21 year old Amy Rodgers from Hull, who had just scored twice to help nearby Beverly Town Ladies defeat Driffield 8-0. She claims to run The David Beckham Soccer Schools in Los Angeles and already coaches young Connor Cruise, and has been told that Brooklyn Beckham will also be under her wing.

   My last match in Andalucia was at Estadio Manuel De Carrenza, a couple of streets from the beach in Cadiz, a Phoenecean city from 1100 BC and then a Roman city visited by Julius Ceasar and the port where Christopher Columbus sailed on his second voyage of discovery to the Americas. Both Cadiz CF and their opponents, Malaga, were relegated to Division II last year. Despite that EL CADISTAS had a full house of 18,000, ony 4,000 less than capacity when  the Fondo Sur stand, which is now a building site, is completed.   RENFE, the national train operator has a station called ESTADIO next door which I rode to from Jerez, the sherry capital, 15 minutes away. The fans sing  La Marseilles, due to their historic links with France and are considered the friendliest in Spain.  They were advertising a 99 Euros trip to Madrid next weekend when they take on Real Madrid B. The trip includes round trip on an air conditioned bus with videos, and overnight with breakfast at a 3 star hotel in the capital.  After 90 minutes of frustration the home team scored the winner in the last minute, 1-0.