Everything here is ill-informed and nonsense. Firstly, i doubt anybody works as hard as beckham. Secondly, what a short memory some people have! Not the sort of player to change a game? Have you forgotton that the only reason England got to World Cup 2002 was beckhams performances? He singlehandedly got us to the tournament and played there despite not being fully fit after his foot injury. Also scoring a decisive penalty against the Argies. He won the triple with Man Utd in 99 so how can he be a two-bit player in what was probably one of the best sides in the world at any time? The Madrid fans loved him and are dissapointed to see him leave after years of service. His problem there was that most of the squad were ageing stars e.g figo, ronaldo, etc. Inter, AC Milan, Celtic were all interested but he didn't want to go to them. Whilst he's the not the sharpest tool in the box, how many dumb people can earn millions of pounds and are recognised all over the world? He's pretty sharp when it comes to earning from his image, although poor choice of wife granted. If U.S t.v stations put some money into the game as happened in England the game could take off in the states. Sure it will never be as big as NFL, NBA and MLB but MLS (Major League Soccer) does have a ring to it! Have a look at the Guardian online for a more informed discussion on this rather than expressing drivvle as this.
I've read the Guardian, thank you very much, just that unlike your good self, I'm not a rabid, blinkered Beckham fan. He didn't want to go to those clubs because he thinks he's too good for them - either that, or he thinks he can't cut it anymore, which is probably true as well. Compare that to Ronaldo, who favours a move to another European club and is reportedly in talks with Milan. And Ronaldo is one year younger than Beckham, so not an ageing star at all (even if he's if heavier than what Capello thinks is desirable). If a player thinks he still has what it takes to make it in the top flight (EPL, Serie A, La Liga, etc), he would at least listen to offers from clubs like Inter, Milan, Celtic (as mentioned in your post). But nooo, Beckham went for the cash. Just look at the size of his contract with LA Galaxy. He might protest it's not about the money, but that's not how it's looking to the rest of the world. He's sharp about earning $$ from his image, I grant you that, but that's all there is to him, really.
Beckham was good for Real Madrid in terms of global marketing - they made tons off his image rights and one of the big stumbling blocks of his contract renewal was that they wanted to keep those image rights revenues coming while Becks didn't. You think Real wanted him for his football? No way. Is he a Figo? Zidane? Ronaldo? No. Was he even a Makelele? Or Hierro? Or Raul? Nope. He can swing in some decent balls, but that makes him just a one-trick pony, nothing more, nothing less.
I frankly don't give a shit about England. To me, they're another two-bit team - where have they gotten in the past three World Cups? Won anything of note? If Beckham is all they can rely on, I'm not surprised they haven't won anything. He thinks he can play in the centre, but look where that's gotten him and England. Has he been an inspirational captain? Like perhaps... cricket's Ricky Ponting, or rugby's Tana Umaga? Nope. But then again, even when England had better players like Gerrard and Lampard, they still didn't win anything (re 06 World Cup).
As for that 1999 treble win, although I'm no Man United fan, I remember the contributions from the likes of Keane and Giggs, but not as much from Beckham - he's not a player to influence matches. He's so easily replaceable - re Cristiano Ronaldo - that Ferguson doesn't even rate him among the players he wouldn't want to leave out in the first team. It was so at United, it was the same at Real.
Madrid fans may respect him for his hardworking attitude, but that's probably about it. Tons of footballers are hardworking - you don't get anywhere in football without at least having decent work ethic. There will always be fans who like hardworking and dumb footballers, and Beckham falls into that category. Years of service? How is three seasons years of service? If he were anything like Raul, who is an icon at Real, then of course the fans would be devastated to see him go. But no, Beckham is another self-styled galactico and the fans will not be sorry to see the back of him.