Talking Sport: Odemwingie and others could learn so much from Beckham

19/12/2011 PA File Photo of David Beckham arriving at the Imperial War Museum in London for A Night of Heroes: The Sun Military Awards. See PA Feature SHOWBIZ Insider. Picture credit should read: John Stillwell/PA Photos. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature SHOWBIZ Insider.
19/12/2011 PA File Photo of David Beckham arriving at the Imperial War Museum in London for A Night of Heroes: The Sun Military Awards. See PA Feature SHOWBIZ Insider. Picture credit should read: John Stillwell/PA Photos. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature SHOWBIZ Insider.

Today’s footballers could learn a thing or two from David Beckham.

The former England skipper joined French side Paris Saint-Germain last week in a move that will see his wages during his five-month contract donated to charity – a sum expected to be around £1m.

This did nothing to hinder his image, nor show the likes of West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie or former Pompey defender Tal Ben Haim in a positive light.

Odemwingie, contracted to the Baggies, spent much of transfer deadline day outside the home of Premier League strugglers QPR hoping to pen a lucrative deal, despite having no permission to do so by his employers.

This followed a ‘strongly-worded statement’ being released, slamming West Brom’s decision to reject his transfer request, and the player stating on Twitter: “I do what I want”.

Lest we forget the Ben Haim-Pompey saga, which saw the Israeli international locked in talks with the club over his mega-money contact at a time when Pompey either needed him off their wage bill or make a number of loyal, hard-working staff redundant.

Ben Haim was under no legal obligation to leave Fratton Park but the saga was surely about more than legal requirements.

It’s the behind-the-scenes staff who remain loyal to their clubs, despite feeling the brunt of the greed of some of the players who come and go.

Couple that with the millions of children around the world who idolise footballers for the position of fame and wealth that they are in and it’s a shame many don’t follow Beckham’s example.

The Ex-Manchester United star says his charitable donation is a move that ‘makes him very proud and excited’.

It’s a far cry from the mentality of a modern-day footballer, who would rather circle another club’s car park than be grateful for the already-privileged position that they are in.

Put Beckham up against Odemwingie, and you begin to see the divide in class between the well-travelled, humble father-of-three and the Premier League ‘star’ searching for his next pay cheque.

As the Tories and David Cameron once stated: “We’re all in this together”. Yeah, pull the other one.

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