The free-kick magician turns 43 and we take a look at his best moments…
David Beckham is a man who has been synonymous with football for a long time now because of his amazing career which ended a few years back, but the majestic footballer has to be one of the best produced by England. Initially rising through Manchester United’s youth academy, Beckham was a part of “Fergie’s Fledglings” and was undoubtedly the most popular player amongst that group of players.
Beckham became a superstar and later a fashion icon as well, as he increased his “brand value” reaching his peak and became an ever bigger name when he moved to Real Madrid. Beckham remains an icon because of his work for Europe’s two gigantic clubs.
His “Bend it like Beckham” became a popular term in football, with kids all around the world trying to emulate his free-kicks. So, we take a look at his top 10 free-kicks of all time.
10. Vs Osasuna, La Liga 2004
David Beckham seemed to be flying high when he arrived at Real Madrid and seemingly got better in his second season with the club. Beckham started the 2004/05 season strongly and produced an absolutely world-class free-kick in their league game against Osasuna. Madrid headed into this match on the back of a loss a week before it and they were being held by a rigid Osasuna before Becks stepped up.
9. Vs Everton, English Premier League 2003
David Beckham played his final game in a Manchester United shirt in their final game of the 2002/03 season away to Everton. Everyone knew that Becks was leaving after the end of the season, but the fan-favorite left the spectators with a special treat. United were losing to Everton before Beckham got an inviting free-kick from a difficult angle on the right side of the pitch.
8. Vs Ecuador, World Cup 2006
David Beckham was written off by many critics upon his selection for England’s 2006 World Cup squad, with many thinking that his drop in form and aging body couldn’t perform for England. But Becks proved them wrong on the world’s biggest stage, as he struck for England just when they needed it. In their round of 16 match against a resilient Ecuador side, the Three Lions needed something special to win that match and got exactly that from their captain.
7. Vs Marseille, UEFA Champions League 2003
When Real Madrid signed David Beckham for a hefty fee in 2003, they expected him to deliver on all stages but Becks wasn’t able to make an impact in the UEFA Champions League before the game against Marseille. He stepped up to the plate against the French side, when he got a free-kick in a “Beckham” area just outside the box.
6. Vs Liverpool, English Premier League 1997
Every Manchester United supporter knows just how important the derby against Liverpool is and the pressure for a player doubles up during that match. It’s a dream to score against Liverpool and David Beckham would live that dream in the December 1997 derby against The Merseyside opponents. The game was going 1-1 in the 70th minute when Beckham got a glorious free-kick opportunity in a perfect area outside the box.
5. Vs Colombia, World Cup 1998
The 1998 World Cup was the first one in which David Beckham would represent his national side and he didn’t take much time before making an impact for the Lions. England were under a bit of pressure in their final group game against Colombia, and despite an early goal from Darren Anderton, they needed some leverage to secure the win.
4. Vs Barcelona, UEFA Champions League 1998
After being bombarded with abuses and insults because of his red card in England’s final World Cup game in 1998, David Beckham had to prove a point to win over his fans at Manchester United. He was handled really well by Sir Alex Ferguson but made a real impact in a big match against Barcelona in the Champions League. In United’s first match of the season, Beckham received a free-kick around 25-30 yards from goal.
3. Vs Sevilla, La Liga 2006
David Beckham was criticized by many during his final years with Real Madrid, which sort of forced them to ship him off at the end of the 2006/07 season. But Beckham continued to produce moments of pure magic even in his final season with the club, scoring an outrageous goal against Sevilla in a league match in December 2006. Becks received a free-kick at the absolute far left side of the field, where normally someone would just try to cross it in for a header.
2. Vs Real Madrid, UEFA Champions League 2003
David Beckham might have been “unhappy” at Manchester United in his final season at the club, but he always gave his 100% for them and proved that in an incredible performance against Real Madrid in the quarterfinals of the Champions League in 2003. After losing the first leg 3-1 at Madrid, United needed something special to get a win against the unstoppable lOS bLANCOS side at Old Trafford. Because of Ronaldo’s brilliance, Madrid went 3-2 up in the game but then the David Beckham show would begin.
1. Vs Greece, World Cup Qualifier 2001
David Beckham scored a lot of memorable free-kicks in his career, but none were as impactful as his goal against Greece in the World Cup QualifYING match in 2001. England went into the game knowing that they would at least need a draw to qualify for the World Cup but were 2-1 down at 90 minutes. Their captain David Beckham(who had missed many free-kicks in that match) stepped up in his home turf of Old Trafford for a special ending to the match.