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Obama pokes fun at Beckham

SoccerNews in MLS 16 May 2012

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David Beckham became the butt of American President Barack Obama’s jokes at a White House event on Tuesday.

Los Angeles Galaxy visited Washington DC to be honoured by President Obama for winning the 2011 MLS Cup and in his remarks to the assembled media, Obama poked fun at the 37-year-old icon.

“We also have a young up-and-comer on the team, a guy by the name of David Beckham,” Obama said. “I gave David a hard time. I said half his team-mates could be his kids.”

“He is tough,” Obama said. “It is a rare man who can be that tough on the field and also have his own line of underwear. David Beckham is that man.”

But the President lauded the former Real Madrid man for his performance during the Galaxy’s championship-winning season.

“Last year at the age of 36, David had his best year in MLS, leading the team with 15 assists. He did it despite fracturing his spine halfway through the season, and injuring his hamstring the week before the championship game,” Obama said.

The Galaxy defeated Houston Dynamo 1-0 last November to clinch the championship, with Landon Donovan scoring the game’s only goal.

“Landon’s eye for the net and his will to win are legendary, and once again he stepped up when his team-mates needed him most,” the President said.

Obama compared the Galaxy to another team packed with high-profile talent, calling the team the ‘Miami Heat of MLS’.

The day was also notable for goalkeeper Josh Saunders being able to join his team-mates at the ceremony after being allowed to leave the league’s substance abuse and rehabilitation programme.

Saunders was admitted to the programme indefinitely, and has missed the Galaxy’s last four matches.

After the president spoke, several Galaxy players, including Donovan and Beckham, joined First Lady Michelle Obama for a question and answer session with a number of children who were in town for the event.

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