It is overwhelmingly tempting to paint David Beckham's starry career in cinematic terms, especially when he has just helped bring an MLS title to Hollywood. The question now left hanging in the air is whether this was the final act in the career of the ultimate film star footballer, or a whether he can squeeze in another star turn before the credits roll, probably in a Parisian drama.
Beckham has always had an acute understanding of drama and his place within it, a remarkable capacity to take the stage, ever since he stroked the ball over Neil Sullivan's head from behind the halfway line on the same weekend that his wife to be was topping the charts with 'Wannabe'. What a defining day that was in the evolution of modern British culture.
At Manchester United he was involved in so many key moments, if not directly participating then certainly prominent as the camera shutters clicked to immortalise scenes of celebration. He also ensured he left Old Trafford on a high having won the league title once again in 2003 - a feat he repeated at Real Madrid when dramatically forcing his way back into Fabio Capello's side that won La Liga before his much-debated departure in 2007 for America.
Of course, the ultimate expression of his ability to weld a narrative to his cause came at Old Trafford in October 2001. In injury-time, with England losing 2-1 to Greece, Beckham curled home that spectacular free-kick to take Sven-Goran Eriksson's side to the World Cup finals. The free-kick merely provided a dramatic denouement to what was a quite astounding individual display of effort, tenacity and sheer bloody mindedness.
This was David Beckham as leading man. The star around whom the film centred.
Though ED would argue that a move to America in 2007 saw him vacate the stage as a genuine elite protagonist, and though his profile has dimmed year by year that he has spent in MLS, in the early hours of Monday morning he confirmed he is still box office.
The MLS Cup final win over Houston Dynamo was a game that was completely dominated by his presence. The pre-match build-up focused on Beckham, his every pass was scrutinised minutely and it was his celebrations that were devoured by the press. Never mind that the winning goal was scored by Landon Donovan, arguably the greatest ever American player and the man who was named MVP after Galaxy's triumph.
No, the conclusion of the MLS season was unavoidably moulded around the Beckham narrative. As it was expected to be the final MLS game for the league's most high-profile import, that came as little surprise. It was also no surprise that the match concluded with Beckham securing a league title in a third country. In fact, ED was veritably astonished when his late, late free-kick was clawed away just when it appeared to be heading for the top corner. For once, the script was not followed.
Of course, the question now is just what lies in store for a man who more than any other has transcended the sport to become a brand, rather than a mere player. In this respect, Beckham is a Richard Scudamore wet dream.
After glugging down a Budweiser in celebration, Beckham was giving little away.
"Whether I stay or not, I've had an amazing five years," he said. "People were talking about if we didn't win it was going to be a disappointment and an unsuccessful five years. It's quietened a few people which is always nice.
"I've loved it here. The fans have been unbelievable - the owners, the players, every one of them are heroes. They've been incredible all season and this has capped it off.
"I've said that all along, it doesn't matter what happens at the end of the season. I need to sit back, relax and enjoy this moment. I might talk in the past tense but that doesn't mean I am not coming back.'"
Of course, all the smart money points to a move to France with Paris Saint Germain. Leonardo, who brought Beckham to AC Milan on loan, is in residence in the French capital and, as Michel Platini helpfully pointed out recently: "Beckham in Paris, that does not scare me at all. It will be good for shops and shopping in Paris."
That does Beckham a disservice. His willingness to appease sponsors and cultivate fans may make him irritating, he may have forgone a few more years at the top level in Europe for a bit of a vanity project in La La Land, but the last thing you can accuse Beckham of is not being committed to the sporting side of things. After all, both he and Donovan were at pains to point out after Galaxy's victory, he played the MLS Cup final with a hamstring injury.
MLS commissioner Don Garber was certainly effusive in his praise of Beckham and the impact he has had on MLS since 2007.
"He's been great for our league and for our game," said Garber. "I find it amusing that when David came in many sports media pundits were saying how much he's over the hill, you don't hear that any more, and this is five years later.
"I underestimated the power of his celebrity by a long shot. I totally underestimated how hardworking and tough he is. He will play through injury and fatigue. That warrior-like mentality was like nobody expected in MLS."
His commitment was questioned during the start of his time in America as
he pursued those moves to Milan and Galaxy fans famously booed him in
2009. On Sunday night, though, they chanted "we want Beckham" in a
desperate plea for him to stay, one that is likely to fall on deaf ears.
Proving the critics wrong is hardly a new experience for the man who first overcame public antipathy following THAT World Cup incident in 1998 and then fought his way back into Steve McClaren's plans after finding himself in international exile.
Beckham has always been a very single-minded individual, a man who knows what he wants and how to make it happen. His celebrity smirk masks a seriously determined, hardened spirit. It always has. That is why ED suspects a move to Paris, and the chance to show he remains a viable player on the European scene, whatever Platini may say, will happen.
Galaxy coach Bruce Arena summed up the decision now facing Beckham in decidedly Hollywood terms after his success in securing the MLS title.
"He has three options: he stays in LA, he plays elsewhere or he doesn't play again. Whatever he decides to do, I support him. He's earned that. If he decides to get on his horse and ride off into the sunset I'm all for it."
Somehow, ED thinks we haven't seen the final act of this unique career just yet.
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COMING UP: Manchester United take on Benfica and Manchester City visit Napoli in the Champions League, while we will also have live coverage of the games involving CSKA Moscow and Lille, Real Madrid and Dinamo Zagreb, Trabzonspor and Inter Milan, Bayern Munich and Villarreal, Ajax and Lyon and Otelul Galati and Basel. Birmingham take on Burnley in the Championship and Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal are both in action in the ATP World Tour Finals.
Ahead of Arsenal's Champions League showdown with Borussia Dortmund the Euroscout casts his eye over Germany international and Mario Goetze and asks what the Gunners can expect from one of Europe's big up and coming talents. The Armchair Pundit will also be filing his latest missive and Rafa Benitez will have his say on the Champions League fixtures this week.
Finally, we look at what was Hot and what was Not in the Premier League this weekend, and the Whistleblower examines one of the more controversial snippets of action.