Is Freddie Ljungberg really David Beckham in disguise?
What is Ljungberg like as a player? First, take a look at this video clip from YouTube.
So, yes, the man knows the game. His nine seasons at Arsenal are a testament to that, as are his 75 games for Sweden, including appearances at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups and the 2000, 2004 and 2008 European Championships.
The trouble is that some MLS fans are going to have a tough time telling Ljungberg and David Beckham apart. Consider:
Beckham plays on the right wing. So does Ljungberg.
Beckham wears his hair cut very short. So does Ljungberg.
Beckham is a male model. So is Ljungberg.
Beckham captained his national team. So did Ljungberg.
Beckham has never won a World Cup or a European Championship. Neither has Ljungberg.
Beckham is covered in tatoos. Ljungberg also has one or two.
Beckham has been injury prone. So has Ljungberg.
And now for a few differences.
The Galaxy pays Beckham $6.5 million a year. The Sounders will pay Ljungberg "only" $2.5 million a year. Beckham is soccer through and through. Ljungberg was a good enough handball player to have been called up for Sweden's national team and also dabbled in ice hockey.
Beckham will turn 34 in May. Ljungberg will turn 32 in April.
But if anyone doubts that Seattle owner Joe Roth went out and signed the Swedish David Beckham, just check this YouTube video.
-- Grahame L. Jones
Photo (top) Freddie Ljungberg poses with a team scarf after signing with the Seattle Sounders FC on Tuesday. Credit: Elaine Thompson / Associated Press Photo
Photo (inset) David Beckham. Credit: Greg Andersen / Associated Press Photo