David Beckham may not have been the most prolific footballer to have stepped on the pitch, but he is undoubtedly the most well-known. People that don’t even speak English know the former Manchester United number 7. Hell, people that don’t even know the first thing about football know him by name. He has achieved what very few footballers have been able to do: become a brand. That didn’t just happen overnight. As a child, Beckham dreamed of being a footballer, and with hours and hours of relentless practice, he signed for his boyhood fan club, Manchester United. That was the beginning of a storied career that has been well-documented by the media.
AUGUSTMAN picks our favourite #BornToDare moments that shaped Beckham’s career and molded the man he is today.
The 50-Yard Lob Vs Wimbledon
It’s the opening day of the 96/97 season, and Manchester United was tipped to have another exciting campaign, having won the double the year before but no one was prepared for such a phenomenal start. After going 2-0 up at Selhurst Park, 21-year-old David Beckham introduces the world to his right foot via a magnificent lob from the halfway line. He became a regular starter on the squad and went on to win the league with the team. The goal remains one of the best in Premier League history.
The Infamous Red Card
By 1998, Beckham’s success with the Manchester United team won him a regular spot on the England squad as well. He was in fine form for the Three Lions, but in the quarterfinal against Argentina, he lashed out at Diego Simeone after getting shoved in the back, and earned himself a red card. Glenn Hoddle’s English side crashed out of the World Cup, losing 4-3 on penalties to Argentina, and the English media blamed Beckham for it. The abuse was abhorrent, but the young footballer persevered and came out better for it.
Winning The Treble
After the events at the 1998 World Cup, Manchester United took the 23-year-old midfielder back under its wing and within no time, he was back in top form. Together with his colleagues from the famed Class of 92, Beckham had a glorious season, winning the coveted European Treble consisting of the English Premier League, the FA Cup, and the UEFA Champions League. Playing against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final, Manchester United won in dramatic fashion, scoring 2 late goals via corner kicks from Beckham. No one else will win quite like this.
The Goal That Shook The World
Just four years prior to this moment, David Beckham was the most hated man in English football, and here he is, stepping on the pitch wearing the captain’s armband. After a lackluster qualifying campaign, Sven-Göran Eriksson’s English team still needed at least a draw against Greece to head to the 2002 World Cup finals. On a day where England seemed destined to lose, Beckham stepped up, and turned on the heat. It looked like one man playing against eleven. In the dying seconds of the game, the English side was behind 2-1 when they were awarded a free kick just outside the box. Beckham set his sights on the goal, took a deep breath, and scored the goal that won him redemption.
Signing With LA Galaxy
After a successful tenure as a Galactico, Beckham left Real Madrid to join MSL side LA Galaxy in a bid to boost the American league. In a $172 million dollar deal, the then 31-year-old made the move across the pond to become one of the world’s highest earning players at the time, reportedly getting $8.7 million dollars a year. Beckham was a catalyst on the squad, and in the five years he played with LA Galaxy, he helped them win 2 MSL trophies.
David Beckham is just one of those people who aren’t born to follow. He dared to dream of becoming the biggest personality in football, and succeeded. It is this #borntodare spirit that resonates with Tudor. The Swiss watchmaker’s timepieces are created with the modern gentleman in mind. They are stylish, elegant, but above all, bold.