Football

David Beckham picks Greece free-kick as favourite moment

Beckham celebrates his last-minute free-kick (©GettyImages)
Beckham celebrates his last-minute free-kick (©GettyImages).



LA Galaxy star David Beckham has played for some of Europe's most famous clubs - but the former England captain rates his free-kick against Greece as his most cherished footballing memory.

That set-piece - a stoppage-time equaliser against Greece - secured England's qualification for the 2002 World Cup. Although Sven Goran Eriksson's side characteristically bowed out at the quarter-final stage in Japan and South Korea, Beckham's free-kick will remain etched in the national consciousness for years to come.

It wasn't just the trademark Beckham style, it was the fact he was the nation's captain, the fact that he was playing like a man possessed, single-handedly dragging his country to the World Cup.

That day Beckham completed his transition in the eyes of the British public, from petulant youngster prone to costly mistakes - World Cup 1998 Argentina - to national team captain, role model and key player.

In an Adidas sponsored question and answer session on Twitter, Beckham responded to a series of Tweets on topics as varied as favourite managers, sporting idols, pre-match preparations and free-kick practice.

Of course, his favourite footballing moment is his free-kick against Greece, but Beckham also recounts his first game for United, his La Liga title truimph - in his final match at the Bernabeu - and Manchester United's treble win in 1999 as similarly memorable moments.

It also turns out that Beckham is something of a cycling fan - perhaps off the back of Bradley Wiggins heroic Tour de France triumph - and the former-United star is keen to watch any of the cycling events, and the 100m final, at the upcoming London Olympics.

While obviously disappointed to be missing out on Team GB, Becks graciously named former-United teammate Ryan Giggs as Stuart Pearce's most dangerous player.

His toughest opponent - that would be his ex-Real Madrid teammate Roberto Carlos. Despite being part of one of the world's most expensive teams - Florentino Perez's Galacticos - and playing alongside the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Raul, Ronaldo and Luis Figo, Beckham plumped for the Brazil left-back.

Unsurprisingly, the best manager he's worked under was his Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson. Having played at Milan and Madrid, Beckham has worked under some of football's top names including Jose Antonio Camacho, Vanderlei Luxemburgo, and Fabio Capello. But Ferguson stands alone in a class of his own.

Perhaps more surprising is the fact that Beckham still practices free-kicks one hour a day, every day, after training. The 37-year-old revealed that he considers dedication to be the most important quality needed to be a good player - and the LA Galaxy star plainly possesses it in abundance.

As for the most talented goalkeeper in the world, the former-England captain picked Real Madrid keeper Iker Casillas. Beckham has played with the likes of David Seaman and Peter Schmeichel, and he clearly rates the World Cup winning captain very highly.

As for the future, Beckham still has a two-year contract with his Californian side. Looking past that, he remains noncommittal.

"Who knows," said Beckham when asked if he would consider playing into his 40s. "I'm playing well and still enjoying it."

I'm sure his millions of fans will hope he does, if only for the opportunity to see another of his trademark free-kicks.

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