David Beckham. One of the greatest free-kick takers of all time. But what are the top 10 he scored throughout his career?
There have been many brilliant set-piece masters throughout the 21st century of football. You’ve got the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Juninho, Ronaldinho and Andrea Pirlo – however, you’d certainly argue a case that you would take David Beckham over any of these superb players in a dead ball situation.
Beckham is a truly unique set-piece specialist. That iconic arched stance when presented with a chance from range is entirely personal to him – and it certainly produced results. Becks accumulated a total of 65 free-kick goals during his career, with some coming in the most pressurised of circumstances.
But which ones were the best? Well here at Give Me Sport we’ve decided to rank them. So let’s take a trip down dead ball memory lane as we present to you David Beckham’s top 10 free-kicks of all time.
10 – Manchester United vs Blackburn 2001
This one epitomises the genius that is David Beckham.
Beckham had some redemption to adhere to in this fixture, having scored an own goal in the first half which saw Manchester United trail, however, a second-half free-kick more than made up for it.
Number 9 – England vs Mexico 2001
Our second entry once again comes in 2001, however this time in international colours during a friendly against Mexico.
England won this game 4-0, with Beckham netting the Three Lions’ third with a fabulous free-kick from around 30 yards out. England’s number seven sent the ball arcing around the Mexico wall and into the top corner.
8 – Manchester United vs West Ham 2000
A typical David Beckham free-kick, executed with such precision and skill.
Beckham steps up just outside the D and most fans in Old Trafford know exactly where the ball is going. He curls one nonchalantly into the top left corner which hits the underside of the bar and into the net.
If you had to show a free-kick which sums up Beckham – this one is probably it.
7 – Manchester United vs Barcelona 1998
United were down by two goals initially, but they clawed back to 2-2, then up stepped David Beckham who swung a free-kick around the wall and into the top corner – sending Old Trafford into a state of extreme ecstasy.
6 – Manchester United vs Liverpool 1996
Another delightful entry, with this one being so special thanks to it winning the game over bitter rivals Liverpool.
Beckham obtained a free-kick in the 23rd minute to the right-hand side of the goal that looked destined for a curler into the top-right of the net.
Beckham deceived the players, the stadium but most importantly the Liverpool goalkeeper as he almost delicately lofted the ball towards the left-hand side of the goal, where the ball clipped off the crossbar and bounced into the net. Simply stunning.
5 – Manchester United vs Aston Villa 1999
A late Premier League fixture in 1999 produced one of Beckham’s most audacious free-kicks.
The Red Devils went into the second half level at 1-1 with the Villans when they got a free-kick no later than a minute into the second half. Naturally, Beckham took charge from 35 yards and produced an absurd strike into the top left corner which left the keeper rooted to the spot.
Not many players would even attempt a strike from there, Beckham dispatched with ease.
4 – Manchester United vs Real Madrid 2003
United crashed out of the Champions League quarter-finals to Real Madrid in April 2003 despite their 4-3 win at Old Trafford as they lost 6-5 on aggregate.
But against the club he would join that summer, Beckham scored a goal that he would later describe as his best free kick in a United shirt. He stepped up and sent an absolute bending rocket past Iker Casillas of all people. The Real goalkeeper stood rooted to the spot and looked entirely perplexed as to what had just occurred.
3 – Manchester United vs Manchester City 2001
Is there a more fitting time to score an absolute banger of a free-kick than in a Manchester derby? Now how about making it the match-winner? Well, that’s exactly what Beckham did in 2001.
Standing a good 35 yards out, the United winger struck a free-kick with outrageous accuracy given his distance from the goal. The ball flew into the top left corner and Old Trafford erupted. That’s certainly one way to settle a derby.
2 – Manchester United vs Everton 2003
This one seems fitting to rank high as not only was it a masterpiece of a free-kick, but it was also the last free-kick Beckham would score for Manchester United on his final ever game before his departure to Real Madrid in the summer.
The elegant number 7 took on a free-kick that looked destined for a left boot, however, this was no problem for Becks as instead he looped the ball over the wall and curled it into the top left, once again leaving the goalkeeper helpless (a common occurrence with Beckham free-kicks).
Beckham’s final Manchester United song, and didn’t he go out in style.
1 – England vs Greece 2001
It just had to be, didn’t it? The most iconic free-kick in English footballing history, David Beckham produced a moment of sheer magic against Greece in 2001.
Set the scene. The Three Lions needed a draw against Greece in October 2001 to qualify for next summer’s tournament but were trailing 2-1 heading into stoppage time – enter Mr David Beckham.
The dead-ball maestro stepped up as England fans awaited contact with the ball with bated breath. Time almost slowed as Becks struck a sweet right-footed curler that soared around the wall and into the top corner which secured England’s place at the 2002 World Cup. Unbelievable scenes.
What was your favourite David Beckham free-kick? Did we miss any? Let us know below!
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