That’s Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham, above, at the Turku airport in Finland, right before he was whisked away to the hospital for surgery on his torn left Achilles tendon.
The image is historic for several reasons: The injury is terrible and sad and will rob Beckham of his dream of playing in a record fourth World Cup for England; the estimated six-month recovery time also jeopardizes the midfielder’s MLS season with the Galaxy, possibly depriving the fledgling league of its only world-headline-making player for all of 2010; and, as far as anyone can tell, it’s the first bad picture ever captured of the pretty-boy global icon.
Remember, this is a guy who was once videotaped sleeping for an hour, with the resulting footage being presented as an art exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery in London, where it ran on a continuous loop for a year.
He’s a former Calvin Klein underwear model, and a Google image search of the man turns up pages and pages of photos without a single dud in the bunch (we ran this by Mrs. Backpost, and she confirmed it—a little too enthusiastically).
But look at him there—jet-lagged, face scraped and contorted into a glum mask. We don’t mean to kick the guy while he’s down but it is—for once—not a pretty picture.
Much like his—and Major League Soccer’s—loss.