Real chief rages at 'half-baked actor' Beckham

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The Independent Football

David Beckham was yesterday labelled a "half-baked actor" who had run off to Hollywood because "no other football club wanted him", by Real Madrid's outspoken president, Ramon Calderon.

The Real president also spoke of the vanity and ego of the club's dressing room, revealed certain players' wages and criticised Real's fans, in comments he thought were off the record, to university students.

Of Beckham's move to LA Galaxy, Calderon said: "He is going to be a half-baked actor living in Hollywood. The decision by our coaching staff not to have him continue here has been ratified by all other coaches in the world because nobody, despite the fact that he was on a free, wanted him." At least Beckham's team-mates were sticking-up for him in a show of team solidarity at a players' lunch yesterday.

The club captain, Ivan Helguera, said: "Nobody likes to see him in this situation. I don't think these things should happen to someone who has given everything for the club."

In President Calderon's rant, at the Centro Universitario in Villanueva, he said: "There is vanity and ego. They all have the idea that they are superstars. Real Madrid players never have to pay where they go. You [the students] have education and culture. Generally speaking they don't."

Calderon also revealed Real's huge wage differences and criticised the fans. He added: "[Iker] Casillas [first-choice keeper] earns €9m a year and Diego Lopez [second-choice keeper] €300,000. Finishing his tirade at the fans, he said: "People go to the stadium as if it was the theatre. They don't encourage the team in the way they do in England and Italy."

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