Becks man of match gong compared to Obama Nobel
David Beckham Man of the Match? You may as well give Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize
Perhaps the most surprising moment of England's workmanlike win over Belarus on Wednesday night came in the final seconds of the game, when it was announced that the Man of the Match award was going to substitute David Beckham.
The bizarre decision was taken by ITV pundit Steve Bruce and caused widespread consternation - England manager Fabio Capello was even moved to compare it to the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama last week.
"I just thought it was like Obama getting the Nobel Peace Prize after eight months as president. He gets the man of the match for 30 minutes here," quipped the stony-faced Italian.
Beckham came on as a substitute in the 60th minute of the match with the score at 1-0, and was met with the adulation he is normally afforded by the public. But on the pitch his impact was minimal - he played a minor role in the second goal and none in England's third.
Bruce's reason for making 'Goldenballs' his man of the match was that he had lifted the crowd. He also remarked, rather darkly, that he couldn't give the award to the obvious candidate - Peter Crouch, who scored twice - as the striker had turned down a move to Sunderland, the club Bruce manages, over the summer.
Beckham himself expressed surprise and joked that it must have been because he and Bruce had once been Manchester United team mates.
Beckham's surprise at being given the honour only added to the comparisons with Obama. One of the Nobel judges broke with tradition this week and revealed that Obama "didn't look particularly happy" at being named the Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
The chair of the judges, Thorbjorn Jagland, defended the decision explaining that Obama's presidency had "contributed to - I wouldn't say a safer world - but a world with less tension". ·
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