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By Jason Moore

DAVID Beckham has now lived and allegedly worked in Spain for the last 18 months and he is still unable to string a sentence together in Castillan. Meanwhile, in Britain the teacher's union is praising the England skipper for making such an important effort to learn the language.

Sky News had an interview with one alleged Spanish teacher who wished Beckham, felicidades, which is about as good as Beckham's Spanish because he was meant to be congratulating the Real Madrid player and not wishing him Happy Birthday. Real Madrid has a code. After about two months you should be able to give a press conference in Spanish. Beckham has taken 18 months and he still can't muster even the basics. How does he speak to his employers? How can he communicate with the coaching staff? He has already been accused of being lazy on the pitch but it appears he has been even more lazy trying to learn the language. I think it is disgraceful and I think it underlines the fact that Beckham will soon be on his way back to England. He hasn't really made an effort in Spain at all. He lives in England and works in Spain. I bet Real Madrid are not too impressed with his antics off the field, either. David Platt, one of the few English players who have made successful moves abroad, learnt Italian before making his move to the Seria A. Steve McManaman, another Real Madrid player, was able to speak good Spanish after a year at the club. Beckham should know that if you speak the language your quality of life in Spain will improve. Okay, there is not such a need for someone who retires to Spain to speak Spanish but it is vital if you are going to work here.

Beckham has just proved to be an expatriate of the worst kind, those who don't care where they live as long as they can get pie and chips and everyone speaks English. A role model...I don't think so.