Who cares any more if Beckham gets 100 or 1,000 caps?
We're talking about a mere number. One that was unattainable years ago, because national teams didn't play that many games. Is Stanley Matthews, probably the greatest of English players, in any way diminished because he got only 54 caps?
It took him 22 years to assemble that many. Today, Cobi Jones has managed to rack up 164 caps in 13 years! And the future? Maybe the number of international games will get even higher, so that a mere century of caps will mean nothing, and those managing maybe 200 appearances will leave Beckham and his fellow centi-cappers way behind. Maybe.
I repeat: Who cares? Per favore, Signor Capello, do us a favor, just give Beckham his cap. After that -- presuming the Beckham camp doesn't demand a ticker tape parade and a visit to the White House -- maybe David can start playing soccer where he should be playing it: In the USA. In MLS. With the L.A. Galaxy.
So far he's done precious little of that. Beckham has quite deliberately put the pursuit of his flashy holy grail before the interests of his club. And in so doing, he has delivered a crude slap in the face to American soccer in general.
As soon as the Galaxy's 2007 season was over (its brevity encouraged by Beckham's truancy) Beckham turned up in England, hobnobbing with top politicians; after that came a photo-op in Sierra Leone; then it was time to promote his new academy in Brazil (no, I'm not kidding - Beckham is going to teach the Brazilians how to play soccer).
Next, finally, came the Galaxy -- a Far East tour where the expected fanfest never happened, and the Galaxy presented those who did attend its games with indifferent soccer.
Back in the USA, there's been time for Beckham to turn up in New York at a glitzy $1,250 a plate gala -- a charity affair, you understand.
It would be easy enough to blame the media for all the hype, and, sure, there's blame there. Blame can also be heaped upon the Galaxy and its supine indulgence to every Beckham wish. But the driving force behind all this Beckocentric behavior is Beckham himself.
Is there any chance of someone telling Beckham to show some respect for sport in the USA? I cannot see who it would be. The Galaxy has capitulated before his undoubted charm (among other attributes). MLS, we hear, may be courting him as a potential owner.
So we await some sort of awareness to dawn on Beckham himself, so that he might stop worrying about what the English fans and the English media think of him, and put his heart and soul into doing what he said he'd do, and what he's being paid obscenely to do: Help the game of soccer in the USA.