David Beckham (with wife, Victoria) brought a certain glamor to the whole enterprise, helped popularize the game. Plus he’s one of it’s most recognizable faces (and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador) who visited the Philippines.
At the time of his visit, I was in a conference and roommates with a staff of the organization. I itched to ditch the conference to watch the game on the field (though if I were there, I’d have cheered for home team Azkals, of course). I didn’t go because I couldn’t so to make up for that lost opportunity, I quizzed my roommate every night about the visit, anything.
PR promo or not, to make or agree to make oneself accessible now and then makes a world celebrity more relevant to locals. But above all he will be surely missed on the field.
Meantime, and on the side, Brooklyn, his son, is quite the new player in the making.