Zinedine Zidane Rejects Chicago Fire, MLS Offers
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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Zinedine Zidane Rejects Chicago Fire, MLS Offers

la-galaxy-jersey.jpgReminiscent of the defunct NASL, MLS seems to be starting the losing trend of paying high prices for players past their prime. The David Beckham splash-out being the first and possibly the best example of what will likely be a trend.

In the newest developments, the Chicago Fire of the United States' MLS have been rejected by World Cup winner Zinedine Zidane, as well as Manchester United forward Henrik Larsson.

The club also revealed that Fulham's American striker Brian McBride had been made an offer, but he needs to "consider his options." It would seem unlikely that McBride would leave England where he leads his team with nine goals in all competitions and has received interest from other clubs, but at least it's within the realm of possibility.

Nonetheless, the apparent lack of interest in all three offers shows the uphill battle that MLS teams face when trying to compete for the world's elite footballers.

-The young superstars want glory as much as riches and Europe offers both.

-Players in their prime aren't looking to step down competitively just for money. And even if they were, MLS would still need to pay more than European clubs.

-Superstars just past their prime, like Beckham and Ronaldo, might excite a few more people to look at MLS, but signing older players doesn't spark the imagination.

Fans don't get to fire off those treasured football cliches like, "they say he's the next Maradonna." Or "you think Rooney's great now, can you imagine what he'll be like in a few years?"

More likely, most of the comments about players like Beckham will start with "I remember when...". That is when they don't begin with "I don't see what's so great about him..."

Sadly for great players like Beckham, they will face a lot of criticism when they don't turn the league upside-down by scoring every time they get a touch on the ball.

Trying times for a league that is attempting to push beyond its 10-year novelty phase to grow into a real big time contender.

It's a dilemma without many answers, but the tried and failed path of giving aging superstars one more big payday is not a recipe for success.

Not only is the product suspect, but we all know what happens to businesses that pay more for their merchandise than it can be sold for.

More from other web sites (in a new window):
Chicago fail in move for Zidane - BBC

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