David Beckham's ruptured Achilles may mean the 'end of the world' for him but it is by no means the end of England's dreams of World Cup triumph in South Africa later this year.
When Beckham was at Manchester United and at the peak of his football powers, Old Trafford great George Best delivered a damning assessment of the midfielder's ability.
"He cannot kick with his left foot, he cannot head a ball, he cannot tackle and he doesn't score many goals," Best said. Best's comments were widely dismissed as the words of an embittered former player yet they highlighted how the hype surrounding Beckham has often exceeded his deeds on the pitch.
No-one can dispute the 34-year-old Beckham's efforts in trying to become the first England player to appear in four World Cups. But it is not as if Beckham's three previous appearances did much to end England's wait for a second World Cup title, since the late Bobby Moore lifted the Jules Rimet trophy at Wembley back in 1966.