The Iconic Match After Which David Beckham Instantly Turned Into a National Hero
- Published on: Friday, February 15, 2019
- The date was October 6, 2001 and England needed at least a draw in their final qualifying clash against Greece in order to automatically reach for the tournament in Japan and South Korea.
Chance after chance came and went. Golden Balls himself skied many a free-kick. Until the 93rd minute. The final minute of added time. The final kick. The final chance.
Up steps captain Beckham. He may have missed a hatful of set-pieces already, but no-one in the country would ever want anyone else to take it. It was do or die. The pressure was incredible for supporters; just imagine what it was like for the Manchester United man on his home ground.
A quick puff of the cheeks, a bending run up to strike the ball, a clean, curling effort...
...And before you could blink, the ball was nestling beautifully in the left corner of the goal.
Cue ecstasy among the England ranks, throughout a buzzing Old Trafford, in bars, living rooms and workplaces across the nation.
That moment, that beautiful feeling only a last-gasp goal in football can generate, all thanks to Beckham and the monumental performance he put in for the entire 93 minutes, culminating with that goal.
David Robert Joseph Beckham (born 2 May 1975) is an English retired professional footballer. He played for Manchester United, Preston North End, Real Madrid, Milan, LA Galaxy, Paris Saint-Germain and the England national team, for which he held the appearance record for an outfield player until 2016. He is the first English player to win league titles in four countries: England, Spain, the United States and France. He retired in May 2013 after a 20-year career, during which he won 19 major trophies.
Known for his range of passing, crossing ability and bending free-kicks as a right winger, Beckham has been hailed as one of the greatest midfielders of all time.