Friday, June 9, 2023

Beckham the great

Graham Fisher in Editorial, General Soccer News 27 Dec 2010


A true great

Last weekend David Beckham was honoured with the lifetime achievement award by the BBC at the Sports Personality of the year event.

When Beckham went up to receive the award in front of hundreds of sporting greats and heroes together with thousands of ordinary members of the public he received one of the loudest, longest and most heart felt standing ovations and receptions I have ever witnessed.


We all know about Beckham the brand and the work he does away from football and some people like it and others hate it. Many of us know about the fantastic work he does for charity and we have seen him heavily involved in both the successful bid for the 2012 Olympics and the unsuccessful bid for the 2018 World Cup.

Beckham has been a fantastic ambassador for football and for his country and like it or not, he has been a decent role model as a father and husband.


The common perception of Beckham is that he is stupid. Surely that ridiculous perception can be put to bed once and for all can’t it? He might sound a bit thick but he has surely proved that he isn’t.

What I want to talk about is David Beckham the footballer. I have heard many people talking about the fact that he is not and never has been a great player. Even George Best once said that Beckham couldn’t kick with his left foot, couldn’t head the ball, couldn’t dribble and couldn’t shoot.


People say that it is an insult to even suggest that Beckham should be considered in the same category as other great players.

I want to put that ridiculous idea to bed as well.

David Beckham has played for Manchester United, Real Madrid, LA Galaxy, AC Milan and England. Not many ‘not great’ players have done that.


Sir Alex Ferguson, Carlos Queiroz, Jose Antonio Camacho, Vanderlei Luxemburgo, Lopez Caro, Fabio Capello, Frank Yallop, Ruud Gullit, Bruce Arena, Leonardho, Glenn Hoddle, Kevin Keegan, Peter Taylor, Sven Goran-Eriksson and Steve McClaren have all felt that Beckham was crucial to the sides they managed.

Beckham has made one hundred and fifteen appearances for England, more than any other outfield player in the history of the game. He played in three World Cups and surely would have made it four if he hadn’t been injured for the tournament last Summer.


It may be true that Beckham does not possess the silky skills of a Messi or Zidane and that he has never won anything of note at international level. It may also be true that he is not an all time great in the lists of world football. It is also equally true that he is the finest English player of his generation and deserves a place at the top table of players in the world over the past few years.

The best way to score goals and win games is to pass accurately, deliver balls into the box well, shoot well and deliver dangerous set-pieces. David Beckham has done all of those things as well as anyone in the world.


In his tribute at the BBC awards ceremony Zinedine Zidane said that David Beckham was a great footballer and an even greater person.

If you look at his football awards you see six Premier league titles, two FA Cups, one La Liga title, one Supercopa de Espana, two Western Conferences and a Champions League. Individually he was the PFA young player of the year, UEFA club footballer of the year, voted in the Premier League team of the season ten times, the team of the decade and scored the goal of the decade. He was the BBC Sports Personality of the year and inducted into the English football hall of fame.


That’s Beckham the footballer, but there is so much more.

He was awarded the OBE by the Queen in 2003 and has been the goodwill ambassador for UNICEF since 2005. In the one hundred greatest Britons awards he was voted Britain’s greatest ambassador. He was also named as the most influential man under forty years of age in Great Britain.

So let’s stop the sniping at David Beckham and recognise him to be a great footballer and a top man once and for all shall we?


Graham Fisher



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12 years ago

He no longer has as much energy as he once did at Old Trafford, but age is to blame for the decline of David Beckham. He is still King David.

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