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Beckham told to skip TomKat wedding

AP | Updated: 2006-11-21 08:57

Beckham told to skip TomKat wedding

Real Madrid soccer player and former England captain David Beckham and his wife Victoria arrive at Ciampino airport in Rome, Friday, Nov. 17, 2006, to attend the expected wedding of actors Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, likely to take place Saturday in Bracciano, a medieval lakeside town outside Rome.

LONDON - Not even David Beckham can get a day off to attend a friend's wedding. The soccer star-pop idol wanted to stay in Rome for an extra day to watch Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes tie the knot, but Real Madrid didn't like that idea.

The Spanish team allowed Beckham to travel to Italy to visit the Hollywood couple Friday. Then the club wanted the injured midfielder back in Spain to sit in the stands for Saturday's game against Racing Santander.

Real Madrid 1, Beckham 0.

"He's injured," Madrid coach Fabio Capello said. "He hasn't recovered and he has to train."

Beckham has been training plenty, including Monday, but he has started only three times this season for Madrid. The injury to his left knee also will force him to miss Madrid's Champions League match against Lyon on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old former England captain, whose contract with Madrid ends in June, is nearing the end of his career. That could be good news for fans of Major League Soccer, and the kids attending his soccer academy in Los Angeles.

Beckham has been contemplating a move to the United States for some time. And given his penchant for the big-time, with his ever-changing hairstyles and advertising campaigns, a country that creates celebrities as fast as most people change socks seems the perfect place for him and his pop star wife, former Spice Girls singer Victoria.

"I want to play at the highest level for a few more years yet," Beckham said at the World Cup in Germany. "Going to America is one of the ideas that I've thought of in the future."

The future could be sooner than even he expected.

Beckham scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Ecuador in the second round of the World Cup, but after a shootout loss to Portugal in the quarterfinals, he stepped down as England captain.

A short time later, new coach Steve McClaren dropped him altogether.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the American league is already making plans for Beckham's arrival. Less than two weeks ago, MLS decided on a rule that will allow teams to sign high-profile players despite a salary cap: It's called the "Beckham Rule."

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