The question of whether the world’s most famous footballer, David Beckham, is a god is not as inane as it might initially appear.

Beckham satisfies many of the criteria for a religious icon. Jess, the protagonist in Bend it Like Beckham, worships before a shrine devoted to him in her bedroom, investing her dreams of football success in his totemic image. He is omnipresent, a global media icon whose visage stares back at us from television and cinema screens, newspaper photographs and magazine covers. English football fans make regular pilgrimages to follow their national team and its captain throughout the world, as they seek to recapture the glory of the 1966 World Cup.

Beckham’s ability to launch a ball 20 metres from goal and beat the keeper indicates that he possesses matchless, God-given abilities. Beckham does fall short of the mark, however, on the matter of immortality. Nonetheless, it is likely that his image will live on long after his death …

Read the rest: