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Monday, February 04, 2008

The MANY FACES of Becks, the Ace Footballer

DAVID BECKHAM made his debut for England at the age of 21 on Sept. 1, 1996, in a World Cup qualifier against Moldova. England won that game 3-0 and Beckham became a fixture in the national team setup for the rest of the year. Since then there has been no looking back for this ace footballer, who happens to be a personal favorite of mine. He is one of the most recognizable sports-celebrities in the world and, more importantly, one of best soccer players in the game today.
In 1997, he made nine appearances as England won its World Cup qualifying group to book a place at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France. He was soon selected for England's World Cup squad and made his France '98 debut in the team's second game against Romania, coming off the bench in a 2-1 loss. He was inserted into the starting lineup for England's final group game against Colombia and he scored his first-ever goal for his country, in his 17th appearance, with a curling freekick in the 29th minute, giving England a 2-0 lead and eventual victory. The way he could bend the ball made him a legend, almost overnight! In the following year, Beckham was instrumental in helping England qualify for the 2000 European Championships.
Becks was in the lineup for 10 of England's 11 games in 2000, including all three games in Euro 2000 and the country's first qualifier for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. In England's second game at Euro 2000, Beckham helped set up Alan Shearer for the game's only goal as England beat Germany in a major tournament for the first time since the 1966 World Cup Final. In the final game of the year, a friendly against Italy in Turin, Beckham was named the National Team captain for the first time.
He maintained his title as captain, appearing in and starting all 10 of England's games, including six World Cup qualifiers. He scored five goals on the year, but none are more famous than the one he scored on October 6 at Old Trafford. Trailing Greece 2-1, despite assisting on a Teddy Sheringham goal earlier in the game, and needing at least a draw to book a spot in the World Cup, Beckham famously scored on a second half stoppage time freekick, sending his country back to the World Cup!
Beckham had displayed his ace playing skills all through, since he first joined manchester United as a trainee and made the club proud right from the time he signed his first professional contract in 1993. And in 2002-03, his final year at Manchester United, Beckham helped claim a sixth Premiership title as United overtook Arsenal to win the title. Beckham scored 11 goals, including one in his final game with the club, in 52 games that season and was rewarded for his efforts throughout his career with an OBE from the Queen on June 13, 2003. However, Beckham headed for Spain in the summer, as United sold the midfielder in a high gain(approximately amounting to $40 million) transfer to Real Madrid.
Beckham began his first season in Spain in sensational form. Till 2006-07, he had appeared in about 100 odd games, scoring many a time and ably assisting his teammates at all times. He scored off of a freekick in a 2-1 win away to Real Sociedad on 2/10, his first game for the club after announcing his decision to sign with L.A. Galaxy. However, he suffered a knee injury three weeks later and was ruled out for a month. David Beckham caused an international uproar, unparalleled in the history of Major League Soccer, when he signed with the Galaxy on January 11, 2007. A former captain of the English National Team and a veteran of three FIFA World Cups (1998, 2002, 2006), Beckham's capacity and stamina is unsurpassed in the world.
Becks has made it into the news often for all the wrong reasons....... be it the tabloid spreads glorifying his lifestyle, his marriage and highs & lows of romancing with Victoria, an ex-member of Spice Girls, a British pop girl-band. His flaunting of the myriad hairstyles, sexy makeovers and sometimes his rather candid sex-talk has made him a sensation all over the world.
With his chiseled features and Colgate smile, and rubbing shoulders with the likes of Tom Cruise, one would have thought that David Beckham was soon to remodel himself for the silver screen – but cameo appearances in the 'Goal' trilogy suggest he should spend his spare time in Hollywood taking acting lessons! The French film 'Astérix aux jeux olympiques' is the first feature film where david has a role playing someone other than himself; Beckham has just a small part, alongside Zidane.
Both Victoria and David Beckham have been seen sporting a host of tattoos, the inscrption of Victoria's name in Devanagari on David's forearm being the most famous. In 2002 Beckham was hailed as the ultimate metrosexual and has been described as such by scores of other articles since.
David and Victoria have three sons: Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz. Despite moving to Los Angeles, Beckham has expressed no personal interest in pursuit of acting roles, saying he is too 'stiff', but maybe one of his sons will make to the screen in the future, who knows! And England should look forward to the football skills of Beck's sons too, one of them must surely make Becks proud if he inherits his mastery over the ball.
Beckham's work as a Goodwill Ambassador for the
international humanitarian agency UNICEF is also commendable. A long-standing supporter of UNICEF, David Beckham was introduced to UNICEF at Manchester United. The club has raised over £1.2 million for the organisation through the United for UNICEF partnership. Beckham joins a number of high profile Ambassadors including Harry Belafonte, Sir Roger Moore, Mia Farrow, Susan Sarandon, Jemima Khan, Robbie Williams and Ewan McGregor all of whom continue to give up their time and energy to raise funds and awareness on behalf of the world’s children. This year itself Becks has been in strife-torn Sierra Leone, where about one in every four children dies before reaching their fifth birthday, which is both shocking and tragic. Saving these children’s lives is a top priority for UNICEF – and as an Ambassador, he hopes to draw attention to this issue across the world.


Mehul said...

Beckham rocks! Always! He is the man of all seasons! For all reasons too!:-)

lalitjuneja said...

Awesome post. On a truly awesome individual. As a footballer, Beckham has acieved phenomenal heights. And as an illustious sports personality he has attained the status of a pop-icon. What else can a person want? Beckham is unique. And his motivating work for humanity as such makes him even more respectable all over the world.

Ron said...

'Goldenballs' Beckham is again to don the role of skipper for the English side. Hence it is all the more joyful to read such a celebratory post on him. He is unique. He is the best that English soccer has seen in a long long time, and for a variety of reasons indeed!