Footage Of David Beckham Practicing Free-Kicks The Day Before Greece Stunner Goes Viral
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's plenty of stories on how the 48-year old would spend time after training sessions taking free-kicks and striving for improvement in order to see results on the pitch.
And a clip of the former Manchester United, Real Madrid, AC Milan, LA Galaxy and PSG legend doing just that back in 2001 has been doing the rounds.
Posted by Scott Allison, a UEFA A licensed coach who works as head of academy coaching at Partick Thistle in Scotland, the video is footage of 'Goldenballs' trying his luck from range on the hallowed turf of Old Trafford, a day before England's crunch clash with Greece.
In what is a truly fascinating watch, Beckham tries his luck from 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 United No.7 perfectly finds the net.
And 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-pieces 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.
However, when it mattered most, a masterclass ensued, Beckham establishing himself as a national hero, just three years on from his silly red card against Argentina at France 98'.
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. He was completely rooted to the spot, unable to do anything to prevent Beckham's perfectly-placed free-kick.
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 David Beckham as a player. A great lesson to any young player coming through the ranks.
Featured Image Credit: PA