WHAT IF… Beckham had joined Barcelona?


This leads to the ‘tiki-taka’ style of play never developing, and thus the likes of Xavi and Iniesta, although good players, never become world stars. This leads to implications for the Spanish national team, who continue to play under the label of ‘underachievers’. Meanwhile, despite obvious technical ability, Messi’s reluctance to turn into a target man deems him surplus to requirements, and thus he never makes the grade at the Camp Nou. Imagine it as a role reversal between him and Zlatan Ibrahimovic during the latter’s ill fated spell in Spain.

The other reason that Barcelona fail is that, with Beckham arriving as the marquee signing, a certain Brazilian never arrives in Catalunya. Instead, Ronaldinho’s transfer as Becks’ replacement at Old Trafford goes through, where the samba star lights up the league and powers Manchester United to multiple Premier League titles, thwarting the Russian Revolution that has begun at Stamford Bridge following Roman Abramovich’s arrival. With Chelsea failing to win a league title courtesy of multiple time World Player of the Year Ronaldinho firing Manchester United to victory, Abramovich works his way through even more managers than the eight who have been sacked in reality during his nine year tenure. Even Mourinho doesn’t stand a chance.

Eventually, after a barren run sees a trophy draught that reflects a certain London club these days, Abramovich gets bored of Chelsea and leaves; big salaries can no longer be supported, players walk away, and Chelsea are plunged into administration, Stamford Bridge hosting League Two football for years to come.

But lest you forget; while I make out that Chelsea’s demise comes from a brilliant Ronaldinho lighting up Manchester, in reality, who was brought in to replace Beckham? A little know Portuguese from Sporting Lisbon. Don’t even get me started on how that affects the story…

Beckham’s transfer to Barcelona also causes shockwaves across the pond in America. With Beckham happily plying his trade in Barcelona, avoiding a fall out with Capello, Calderon and Real Madrid as a whole, Becks never makes the move to LA Galaxy. In reality, he was not only the biggest star in the Galaxy (see what I did there?) but he was the biggest star in all of the MLS.

Yet without ‘Brand Beckham’ becoming an ambassador for ‘soccer’ in the United States, the league’s popularity fails to take off and receive interest. The likes of Rafael Marquez, Thierry Henry and Robbie Keane are several of many who decide the US isn’t a desirable place to ply their trade, and the league collapses, leaving the country with only one type of football. Thanks a lot, David.

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