WASHINGTON, DC, May 16 – US President Barack Obama ribbed aging football icon David Beckham over his underwear line Tuesday, as he celebrated Los Angeles Galaxy’s Major League Soccer title at the White House.
Obama also paid tribute to the toughness of the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star after he battled through the championship season last year with a stress fracture of the spine and an injured hamstring.
“He is tough. It is a rare man who can be that tough on the field and also have his own line of underwear. David Beckham is that man,” Obama joked.
Beckham, 37, caused a stir earlier this year when he modeled his line of “Bodywear” underwear by H&M during an advertisement shown during the NFL Super Bowl championship game.
The president also quipped that Beckham was much older than some of his young teammates.
“We are getting old David, although you are holding up better than me.”
Beckham was joined at the ceremony in the East Room of the White House by teammates, including Landon Donovan, the US national team star, and Republic of Ireland skipper Robbie Keane.
Beckham, who had a strong season last year despite his injuries, is off to a hot start in 2012, and fired home one of his trademark long-range free kicks in a 1-1 draw with Montreal Impact on Saturday.
After winning 115 England caps, Beckham is hoping for a return to the international stage later this year as he guns for a place in the British football team at the London Olympics.