David Beckham just handed over the England bid for the 2018 World Cup to FIFA.
Beckham used to be ridiculed for being a bit dim, vain, stereotypical, and not possessing any ability of communication – his efforts at public speaking were usually hampered by a staccato estuary English.
But in the past couple of years he has matured as a statesman for English support in a way that would have been thought impossible a decade ago. As his playing career declines, his ability to represent sport to international bodies and governments is clearly a direction he can move into with some confidence. He has even sorted out his speaking voice – listen to him talking about the 2018 bid with confidence and sounding more like a politician than a footballer.
If England win this bid, he should be the man charged with being the figurehead for the event.