CARSON, Calif. – It’s been a month since David Beckham was left out of Great Britain’s Olympic soccer squad, but the opinions over the Galaxy star’s exclusion won’t stop coming, with none other than Real Madrid manager José Mourinho weighing in on Beckham’s absence from the team.
GOAL: Beckham FK sets up LA's first
“For me, David Beckham is a great player, a great person, he has demonstrated his quality in all the places he has gone, one of the best professionals in soccer,” Mourinho told reporters in his press conference following Madrid’s 5-1 win over the LA Galaxy. “I don't know how it is that he's not in the Olympics representing his country. For me, he is more than an image and had to be on the Olympic team.”
Beckham played 45 minutes the game and was his typical self, hitting accurate passes and setting up LA’s lone goal of the game with a swerving free kick.
Mourinho never crossed paths with Beckham at the club level – the Portuguese manager arrived at Real Madrid in 2010, while Beckham left the club in 2007 to join LA – but admitted that at a different time, he would have loved to have coached Beckham.
“I sincerely would have liked to have had him on one of my teams, though now it is late because his career is winding down, but players like him, any manager would like to have him on his team,” Mourinho added.
And for Beckham, the feeling is mutual.
“I’ve spoken about my admiration for José,” the 37-year-old told reporters after Galaxy training on Wednesday. “I think he’s an exceptional manager. I think he’s an amazing human being as well. What he does for teams and what he teams and what he does for players and individuals, he’s very special. … And I’m looking forward to seeing him again.”