CAPE TOWN: Footballer David Beckham on Thursday told Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu he would have loved to play in the World Cup but was in South Africa to support England and the tournament.
"These things happen in life," Beckham, a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, said over a cup of tea while visiting the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre where Tutu signed three backpacks for the player’s children.
"Although I would have loved to have played, I’m here to support my team and South Africa’s World Cup."
"I could hug you for doing that," Tutu told him, in a statement released by his centre after the surprise visit ahead of England’s match against Algeria on Friday.
"You can’t put a monetary value on the goodwill you’ve shown here today. The world is a better place for people like you," added the former archbishop of Cape Town, awarded the Nobel prize in 1994 for his leading role in anti-apartheid struggle.
Beckham’s World Cup hopes were ruled out by an Achilles tendon injury.