Calderon belittles Beckham

David Beckham was belittled by Real Madrid's president as a Hollywood movie-star hopeful spurned by most of the world's top soccer teams.

updated: March 22, 2007 06:37 IST
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David Beckham was belittled by Real Madrid's president as a Hollywood movie-star hopeful spurned by most of the world's top soccer teams. Team president Ramon Calderon, in comments, expected to further sour relations between Beckham and the Spanish club, said the English midfielder joined the Los Angeles Galaxy because there were no other takers. "The proof that our technical staff was correct not to retain him, has been borne out by every other technical staff in the world not wanting him even though he was out of contract. "David Beckham is going to be some sort of film actor living in Hollywood," Calderon said in speech to university students that was broadcast by Cadena Cope radio station on Tuesday. Beckham spokesman Simon Oliveira said he would not respond to the comments. During his university visit, Calderon also criticised Madrid's players, who he said displayed 'egotism and vanity'. "They all think they are superstars," he added. The president singled out goalkeeper Iker Casillas for his $11.6 million annual salary and midfielder Jose Maria Gutierrez for failing to capitalise on his ability, as well as Madrid's fans for failing to get behind the team. He also suggested former club president Florentino Perez deliberately had frustrated a bid to sign AC Milan midfielder Kaka in the off season. Calderon apologises Calderon later apologised for his remarks. "The first thing is to say I'm sorry, a thousand times sorry, to everyone to whom I have offended. Everything I have done at this club since I arrived at Real Madrid has been for the good of the club and my affection and my defense of the players will always be above anything else," he told the club's Web site. "During the questions, it is true, I made a series of remarks which could have caused annoyance," he added. In a statement on its Web site on Tuesday, Madrid criticised Cadena Cope for making Calderon's comments public. "Real Madrid wishes to express its surprise and indignation because a journalist from La Cope has violated the intimacy of a private function which attempted to be academic in its content and nature. "And has turned it into an act of disloyalty and disrespect toward the university, the students present and the good faith of the president," the team said. Beckham announced last Thursday that he would join the Galaxy in a five-year deal, reportedly worth $250 million, starting in August. Madrid coach Fabio Capello responded two days later by saying Beckham would no longer play for the team now that he has committed to another club, and would only be able to train with his teammates. That has left Beckham with the prospect of no competitive soccer for six months. Oliveira said on Monday that Beckham hopes to see out the remaining 5-1/2 months of his contract. Spanish media have suggested that Madrid may try to rescind his contract, although Galaxy general manager Alexi Lalas said the club will wait until August.