David Beckham's debut for Real Madrid at the weekend saw the England captain win
David Beckham's debut for Real Madrid at the weekend saw the England captain win the first of a new series focusing on someone involved with England for their weekend performance. TheFA.com will keep a running total throughout the season of 'nominations' to discover the Lion of the Season...
Beckham has created headlines all summer, now he's making more...for his football. Fittingly for a global phenomenon, the England captain finally made his Real Madrid debut in Beijing - and showed why Madrid were so keen to secure his services.
What They Said:
"Worthy of a seat at the top table" - Mail on Sunday
"Special to play in a historic city" - David Beckham
"The boy done good" - News of the World
What He Did:
Even The Beatles had problems coping with the frenzied adulation across the world - and there were four of them to share the burden.
Quite how David Beckham has faced being chased by crowds of screaming fans from Madrid to Vietnam this summer is hard to say.
In the circumstances, his ability to stay level-headed and focussed is astounding and that is why he is selected as the first Lion of The Weekend for 2003/04 after an impressive debut for Real Madrid on Saturday.
Each Monday TheFA.com will pick out someone involved with England - whether at senior or another level - for their weekend performance and keep a running total of 'nominations' to discover the Lion of the Season.
Captain Becks may be out of sight as far as the Premiership is concerned but he's not out of mind. How can he be when he receives blanket coverage on every continent?
This summer, he has left his beloved Manchester United, voyaged to America, Japan and Vietnam and is now the centre of attention in China.
On Saturday, at last, he was able to do what he does best.
If he was nervous lining up alongside Raul, Ronaldo, Zidane, Figo and Roberto Carlos against the China Dragons, he didn't show it.
In fact, he looked comfortable in the all-white - taking free-kick responsibilities ahead of Roberto Carlos and nearly scoring; and producing a range of crisp passing from the right-hand side.
Despite being cooped up in a room for most of his visit - it is unsafe for him to walk the streets with hundreds camped out his hotel - Beckham seems to have been accepted by his Real team-mates.
They now realise that despite the unprecedented fame, David Beckham is a fine footballer first and foremost.
It was a more than satisfactory debut although the real test will come when La Liga starts on August 31.
Date of Birth: Leytonstone; 2 May 1975
Height: 6' 0''
Weight: 11 13
Club: Real Madrid
TheFA.com - Lion of the Season 2003/04
David Beckham 1
Compiled by Joe Bernstein