Footage Of David Beckham In Training The Day Before Greece Free-Kick Proves Practice Makes Perfect
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They say "practice makes perfect" and David Beckham - his innate free-kick taking ability in particular, is concrete evidence of that.
'Becks', as well as being a global marketing phenomenon, is renowned as one of the very best from set-piece situations and he didn't become the dead-ball expert overnight, or by fluke.
There are a slew of stories on how he would spend time after training sessions taking free-kicks and striving for improvement in order to see results on the pitch.
20 years ago today, he scored one of the very best free-kicks of his career against Greece and there's footage of the 46-year-old practicing the day before.
Posted by Scott Allison, a UEFA A licensed coach, Beckham is seeing trying his luck from range on the hallowed turf of Old Trafford, a day before England's crunch clash.
In what is a truly fascinating watch, Beckham has numerous attempts a range of angles and distances, with each effort serving as a different stage in finally reaching perfection, which comes in the final strike as the former Manchester United No.7 perfectly finds the net.
All that practice would pay dividends in the big game a day later. Deep into stoppage time, Sven Goran-Eriksson's side were trailing 2-1 to Greece and a play-off game against Ukraine looked to be on the cards if they were to reach the 2002 World Cup.
Beckham, the Three Lions captain, had already taken five free-kicks from the game and though one of his set-piece crosses with found the head of Teddy Sheringham, who scored an equaliser to make it 1-1 earlier in the second half, his long-range efforts were not successful.
With time running out and the 93rd minute rapidly approaching, he stepped up and curled in an absolute beauty that nestled past Nikopolidis in the Greek goal and booked England's place in the Japan and South Korea-hosted tournament.
All that practice a day earlier, combined with his five previous efforts in the game, all culminated in a moment that well and truly defined Beckham as a player.
A great lesson to any young player coming through the ranks.