Beckham on a California beach making some seemingly impossible trick shots gone viral on Youtube. He is apparently able to easily shoot three balls into far away garbage cans while barefoot, a feat that requires surgical precision in kicking the ball.
Craig Foster, former Australian football player said, “the fact that the vision is believable says everything about the technical accuracy required to play the beautiful game.”
“David Beckham built a decorated career from being able to perfectly dissect a tiny space, on the run, from forty to fifty metres, under pressure by an opponent, landing the ball on a teammate’s chest or perfectly in front of him so as not to break his momentum, or curling the ball over a wall of men into the top corner with an accuracy within fractions of a millimetre,” he added.
Sir Alex Ferguson once said he had never seen another right-footed player with the possible exception of Johnny Giles who could strike the ball so cleanly and with such wonderful accuracy. Beckham made you want to believe that right feet could be described as “educated”, too. His technique from free-kicks was renowned but the harder skill for a right-sided midfielder has always been to deliver the telling cross on the run. Beckham made this his forte. He would aim for the six-yard line but with a trajectory that meant the ball would arc away from the goal. The cross would be delivered with pace, rather than floated over, making it harder for the goalkeeper to judge the flight of the ball. They were the kind of deliveries, in short, that goalkeepers detest and nobody before, or since, has put over with such distinction.
At the Cliff, United’s old training ground, Beckham in his pomp would ask the coaches to fasten an old tyre to the top corner of the goal then line up the ball 25, 30, 35 yards out, before trying to put it through the hole. Invariably, he would manage it within the first few attempts. Then he would raise the stakes and the ball had to go through without touching the sides. And again, it wouldn’t be too long before he had done it and he was heading inside with that fast stride and triumphant smile.
The mistake sometimes when a footballer is this gifted is to believe it is all natural ability and overlook the sheer effort that goes into it. Beckham was always a prodigious worker, entirely dedicated to the idea of being a footballer, going all the way back to when he was growing up in Chingford with posters of Bryan Robson on his bedroom wall. He was fortunate, undoubtedly, that his father, Ted, was so devoted – still a home-and-away United match-goer even now – but it was his own dedication, as much as his ability, that made all those endless hours of schlepping up and down the motorway worthwhile.
Ferguson had it spot on in 1999: “David Beckham is Britain’s finest striker of a football not because of God-given talent but because he practises with a relentless application that the vast majority of less gifted players wouldn’t contemplate.”