David Beckham & his unprecedented influence in LaLiga
David Beckham is back in the headlines as a result of his recent documentary, so it’s a good time to take a trip down memory lane and look at the talented footballer’s Spanish story.
Twenty years on from his arrival in LALIGA EA SPORTS, it is the perfect moment to take a look back at David Beckham’s time in Spain. When the Englishman arrived, he did so having been the star of Manchester United and the England national team. Beckham already transcended sporting matters, as he was also an icon off the pitch, mainly because of his style, his fashion sense and his marriage to Victoria Adams, a member of the Spice Girls.
In the summer of 2003, his transfer to Spain was completed after lengthy negotiations. As the recent documentary about his life explains, the seeds had been planted far earlier, in April of that same year when Real Madrid visited Old Trafford, The Theatre of Dreams, in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
The match ended in a Real Madrid victory thanks to a hat-trick from Ronaldo, which overcame Beckham’s brace, even though he only came on as a substitute. The Englishman has revealed that he held a brief conversation with Zinedine Zidane after the full-time whistle as they exchanged shirts, a chat that ultimately proved key to convincing Beckham to sign for Los Blancos.
Later that summer, and standing alongside the legendary Alfredo Di Stéfano, Beckham was presented as a Real Madrid player. His selection of the No.23 for his shirt surprised everyone, with it explained that this was in honour of Michael Jordan, the Chicago Bulls legend who marked a before and after in the history of basketball and its marketing. With Beckham, the aims were similar, to completely change the paradigm of sports media.
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The winger joined a squad that already contained Iker Casillas, Roberto Carlos, Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Raúl and Ronaldo, and they became known worldwide as The Galácticos. In terms of team success, the England international was only able to add two titles to his trophy cabinet during his four years at the club, one LALIGA EA SPORTS trophy and one Spanish Super Cup. That contrasts with his own impressive individual figures, though, as he conjured up 20 goals and 52 assists in 159 appearances for Los Blancos.
Undoubtedly, the one thing that stood out above all others was his incredible ability to strike the ball. With elegant and aesthetic movements, he could hit the ball in such as way that it would produce a deceiving effect to haunt opposition goalkeepers and defenders. That was clear to see when it came to set pieces, as 12 of his 20 goals at Real Madrid were freekicks. In fact, Beckham is tied with Lionel Messi as the fifth-top freekick scorer in history, with 65 goals each.
Years later, Beckham’s impact on LALIGA continues to be felt. The buzz surrounding his compatriot Jude Bellingham is leading many to think back to the Beckham era, but it should also be noted that the Englishman had an impact on other stars of the competition. This is the case with Antoine Griezmann, for example, as the Frenchman has always declared himself a fan of Beckham, so much so that his regular changes of look, while wearing the No.7 and long-sleeved shirts, are actually inspired by the legend that is David Beckham.