Whether it be a Euro 2006 sticker book underneath your bed, a Manchester United shrine in your office or a magazine cut out in your wife’s knicker draw – David Beckham is undoubtedly one of footballs ultimate poster boys.
Along with being one of the nation’s sweethearts, ‘Golden Balls’ enjoyed an illustrious, 19-year career which was spent at some of the worlds most recognised clubs. This can often be forgotten amidst the glamorous, celebrity lifestyle preyed upon by the British press over the years.
Since graduating from the famous class of ’92 with Manchester United, the midfielder went on to collect 523 senior club appearances for the likes of Real Madrid, AC Milan and LA Galaxy, before his retirement in 2013. As part of England’s ‘golden generation’, Beckham also made 115 appearances for the Three Lions, as well as scoring 17 goals – some which will go down in English sporting history.
Credited for his sensational crossing, precise passing and his wicked ability from dead ball situations, there is little wonder that ‘Becks’ is held in as high a regard as he is by both fans and his fellow professionals, here are some of their opinions on the iconic winger.
Quotes about David Beckham:
“I don’t know how he manages to be so at ease outwardly on the pitch. He is almost a pop star. I couldn’t do that. It is incredible, especially given that he is as timid as me”
‘He’s an icon to every kid in the world, he’s a very wealthy guy so how can I possibly argue with that?’
? UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin on David Beckham ?
“A superstar who has consistently used his fame to promote good causes” #Respect
Beckham will receive the 2018 UEFA President’s Award in Monaco on August 30 ??? pic.twitter.com/t1x5k7TFjE
— UEFA (@UEFA) August 21, 2018
“I would hold David up as an example of someone who was smart at maximising his potential off the pitch, but always balancing that by ensuring he was training to his best and delivering on the pitch”
“From the start you knew the quality he had and the professionalism. His range of passing and his free kicks were brilliant and that was no accident – he was out there practising all day long”
“I always like the way he plays. I always admired him and it’s very cool to play with important people. It’s always very motivating”
“A phenomenon – the image he has is totally different to what he is really like as a person”
– Luis Figo
“He can’t kick with his left foot, he can’t head, he can’t tackle, and he doesn’t score many goals. Apart from that, he’s alright”
“We were looking through his playlist in the dressing room – there was lots of Justin Bieber, Jonas Brothers and Selena Gomez. We were expecting some cool English rock bands and hip hop. It is nice to know that even David Beckham doesn’t have good taste in everything”
“He should guide Posh in the direction of a singing coach because she’s nowhere near as good at her job as her husband”
– Brian Clough
“I would be very proud if, one day, I’m held in the same esteem as George Best or David Beckham”
– Cristiano Ronaldo
“David Beckham would have to be the fittest player I’ve played with”
“I am inspired by leaders like David Beckham”
– Harry Kane
“The reaction from every adversity he’s ever gone through in his career, he’s always bounced back and been professional and got on with his job”
– Steve McClaren
“His football does not seem to suffer by all of this going on around him. You look at his passing and he makes it look so simple. When he passes the ball, it always seems to go where he wants it to go. That sounds simple, but believe me, it is not”
– Graham Taylor
“He is the best passer of a ball in the world”
“What remains in your memory is his genuine commitment and dedication, his natural humility which he always had, that will stay forever”
“He made every single ounce out of all the ability he had. The way he carried on to the age he played to was outstanding. He kept himself in great shape. He was the best set-piece taker I saw in my time”
“I was taken off for David to go on (for his debut, as a substitute against Doncaster). So I was chuntering on the bench, then he went and scored directly from a corner. I had to shut up then”
– Paul Raynor
“You always think of his crossing but he was a better all-round footballer than he was given credit for – I had my doubts when he went to Real Madrid but he proved that he was a proper player in any climate, country or team”
– Martin Tyler
“He has been an example for this club [Real Madrid] and continues to demonstrate it day by day.”
– Roman Calderon
“His crossing was incredible. I’ve never seen a player more efficient in dead-ball situations: he was able to find someone every time, which is amazing”
– Robbie Keane
“He produced some fantastic memories for England and that goal against Greece sends shivers down my spine every time I think about it. He took responsibility as a footballer and is a great role model” – Terry Butcher
“His work ethic was fantastic. He had fantastic stamina and a great right foot”
– Sven Goran Erikkson
“Beckham has always been nice to me. He has always had very good words for me. I’m sorry I could never be his coach. I would love it. Now it’s too late as David is in the last years of his career”
“David Beckham is up there with the best passers I’ve ever played with; over a long distance he was ‘radar foot’. Some left footers look beautiful when they pass the ball. His right foot was like that – it even sounded nice when he hit the ball.
– Rio Ferdinand
“Becks was the true professional. As soon as we’d finished [training], the mannequins would be out and he’d be taking free-kicks, corners and he’d do it for an hour.”
– Paul Ince
“I have seen all kinds of underwear models, but we all wish we looked like David Beckham at the end of the day. He is like the underwear model of the century,”
– Tommy Hilfiger
“The Prime Minister’s view is that David Beckham has been an outstanding footballer throughout his career, but not only that, he has been a brilliant ambassador for this country, not least if we remember all the work he did on helping us win London 2012. The Prime Minister’s message would simply be to say: congratulations on a fantastic career.
– Spokesman of the former Prime Minister David Cameron
“He has had a glittering career, iconic status, and I wish him well in the future.”
– Roy Hodgson
‘I would like to pay tribute to David for his outstanding contribution to English football. He has been such a great ambassador for the game at home and abroad and was a tremendous performer for his clubs and England.
‘David always played with the greatest passion and became an iconic figure in our national game.
– David Bernstein – Chairman of the FA on Beckham’s retirement
“David Beckham-what an unbelievable career-4 titles in 4 countries over 100 caps for Eng and the best ambassador this country’s has had!’
– Phil Neville
This article is written by Joseph Dennison. Follow him on Twitter @JosephDennison7
Founder and editor of Footiecentral. A voracious reader who loves reading anything and everything related to the history of football. He’s an ardent supporter of Manchester United and rarely misses a match.