David Beckham is arguably one of the best English players to have stepped on a football field. Playing over 700 games in 4 different countries and winning 19 trophies, he represented England in 3 World Cup Campaigns. He was known for his array of passing, crossing ability, and curling free-kicks as a right winger, Beckham has been hailed as one of the greatest midfielders of all time. Beckham was runner-up in the Ballon d'Or, twice runner-up for FIFA World Player of the Year and in 2004 was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players. He was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2008. A global ambassador for the sport, Beckham is regarded as a British cultural icon. Here, we shall see 5 memorable highlights of David Beckham’s career.
● Winning the treble:
In the frenzy that followed the 1998 World Cup, it was thought Beckham may move abroad to escape oppression. Although, having rather made a part of the most successful Manchester United side of all time in the 1998-99 season, one has to assume that he is jovial about staying in England. Beckham scored against Tottenham Hotspurs on the concluding day of the season to help the Reds of Manchester win their 12th league title, and then one week later he was part of a squad that won the FA Cup final at the Wembley Stadium.
Exactly four days after the FA Cup win, Manchester United saw themselves at Camp Nou. They had failed twice to beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League group stages, and when they were 1-0 down at the end of 90 minutes. But, of course, we all remember what transpired next.
Beckham switched to a Central role from Right and United became the first English side to win the treble, and Alex Ferguson finally received his knighthood.
● The goal against Wimbledon:
Despite Alan Hansen's infamously said "You can't win anything with kids" promulgation, the section of Sir Alex Ferguson's intellect was his faith in Manchester United's youth players in the 1990s.
Among "Fergie's Fledglings" was a good-looking young player named David Beckham. The floppy-haired midfielder was part of the title-winning side of 1995-96, but it wasn't until the opening day of the 1996-97 season that he made his first enduring mark and introduced himself to the world of football in a very stylish way.
Spotting the Wimbledon goalkeeper off his line late in the second half, Beckham attempted a reckless 50-yard lob.
For Dons fans, it was the discontented frosting on a 3-0 loss, but for the youngster named David Beckham, it was the start of a career destined for prominence.
The moment was even voted 18th in a 2002 poll of the 100 Greatest Sporting Moments, and that season Beckham won a regular place in a governing United side.
● Red Card against Argentina:
Despite his fame with Manchester United, Beckham was unable to make the England squad until after Euro 96.
He played in all of England's qualifying matches for the 1998 World Cup, but when the tournament came around, he was left out for the first two group matches.
Later, he would accuse manager Glenn Hoddle of making him feel "sick" with frustration for this, but it was the nation's turn to be disappointed in the midfielder in the Round of 16 match against Argentina.
Right after Javier Zanetti scored an equalizing goal, Beckham was fouled by Diego Simeone. As he laid face first on the field, Beckham kicked Simeone in retaliation. Even though Simeone made fodder of it, the kick was a grouchy act that earned Beckham a red card.
When England was subsequently eliminated in a penalty shootout, Beckham became public enemy number 1. He was booed at every stadium he visited with United the following season, and there were even reports of death fulminations and Beckham images being hung in the streets. It took three years for Beckham to reclaim his position in an England shirt.
● Joining Real Madrid:
It is very fair to say that Real Madrid attracts the best of talent from all over the globe. David Beckham was no exception. Especially in 2003, when the relationship between Ferguson and Beckham had soured, mostly due to a conflict in which the flaming Scot kicked a football boot at his face. It was a 2 horse race with Barcelona as well as Real Madrid interested in the Britisher.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta had promised to bring Beckham to Catalunya, but he ended up signing for their fierce rivals in Madrid.
He was only the third Englishman to play for Los Blancos (behind Laurie Cunningham and Steve McManaman) and became part of a star-studded squad that incorporated Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, Roberto Carlos, Raul and plenty more.
Although the four seasons he spent with Madrid were comparatively unsuccessful for the Spanish giants, he scored 20 goals in 155 displays and lifted the La Liga trophy in his last season.
Four months before this dalliance with Spanish silverware, it had been published that the world's most famous footballer was moving to the United States.
● Moving to America:
Beckham was 32 years old in the summer of 2007, but it was absolutely bizarre for a player of his stature to move to MLS. While some believed it to be an excuse to cash in while playing in a league that would be easier on him in the autumn years of his career, Beckham insisted the move was one born from a desire to enhance and familiarize the game in the U.S. "I'm coming there not be a superstar,I'm coming there to make a difference." he said at the time.
He was a superstar already, and his stateside recognition supported to bring sponsorship, fans and some much-needed plaudits to the moderately young professional league.
The obstinate battle of bringing football into the fray with other American sports ultimately wasn't flourishing during Beckham's five-and-a-half years in Los Angeles, but he did win back-to-back MLS Cup titles in 2011 and 2012.