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Beckham deserves to stand alongside Moore

February 11, 2009

A great many people, most of whom never saw Bobby Moore play, have decided that it is an insult to his memory that David Beckham will equal his outfield record of 108 England caps if he plays against Spain on Wednesday.

But if Moore , who died in 1993, had been around today you can be sure he would have been the first to sincerely congratulate a fellow gentleman of the game. The Golden-locked hero of 1966 would have recognised much of himself in Goldenballs.

Beckham has been and continues to be a magnificent servant not only to England but to football as a whole.

He did not award himself 107 international caps, he was picked, by a succession of managers. When he was dropped by Steve McClaren in the former manager’s attempt to make a mark after his appointment, Beckham didn’t sulk, complain or sell his “inside story” to the tabloids.

He merely went away, trained hard and played to the best of his ability, until he was recalled. Many ageing superstars over the years have declined to warm the bench of their national side, their egos not allowing memories of their greatest days to be tainted by exposure of their fading talents.

Not Beckham. He has said time and time again that he will never “retire” from international football. He rightly points out that it is the ultimate sporting honour and that he will do anything and everything he can to help his country.

Listen to the likes of Aaron Lennon and Theo Walcott, young guns who have forced Beckham to spend most of his recent England matches on the sidelines.

They cannot say enough in praise of the way he has helped them settle and develop in the national team, all the while knowing that every improvement they show lessens the chance of him regaining a starting berth.

Remember Old Trafford in 2001 when he tore around in a frenzy in one of the all-time – yes all-time – great captain’s performances before applying the coup de grace with his last-gasp free kick to secure the draw against Greece that sent England through to the 2002 World Cup? That is called playing for your country.

He gives generously off the pitch too. Some might not like his celebrity lifestyle but not those touched by his work for UNICEF, not the thousands of youngsters who have been through his soccer schools and not the young fans, most not even born when he made his debut, who ensure Beckham’s name raises the loudest cheer when the teams are read out at Wembley.

True, he has had his lows. The 1998 red card, the broken toes, the penalties, the quarter-finals, and he will never captain England to glory in the World Cup.

But he can still dream of a cameo should they upset the odds in South Africa next year.

Amid the shame and pain, the beers and tears of England over the last 13 years, David Beckham has been a glorious gift to the nation and absolutely deserves to stand shoulder to shoulder with the man who hoisted the Jules Rimet Trophy 43 years ago.

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Comments

No never. Becks sold himself over and over for things other than football.His academy is a joke and truth be told he had his moment in ’99 with the treble.He will remain high in the history of Man United, but thats it.England are the worst football team in the world along with the cricket team. Back in south africa we have Terry Paine on our footy weekly ,he was in the ’66 squad and he looks like a dinosaur!!! Becks where is your world cup, mate???? Bobby Moore will blow bubbles in your silly face.

Posted by gerard jansen | Report as abusive
 

It is a shame for Bobby MOore to be compared to Beckham. After all Beckham is just an average footballer with a great right foot. The problem for England is that they still are so much depended on his style of play. England plays with this stupid idea that they can put every Bexkham corner into the net. They may do it against defensively weak team but not against those big guns. Remember the best England played in recent competition was the Euro cup when Rooney burst into the team.

It’s just the popularity of EPL in south asia which made Beckham a bigger celebrity, bigger than England. There lies the real problem for England. Even then Beckham has contributed more to his nation than the much talented Rooney, Lampard and Gerard has done. Hence he should be given the chance to claim the record, but we should also understand that Bobby Moore is Legend and Beckham can only admire him.

 

I’m with you 100%. Becks is an out and out legend. What other English player has played for three of the biggest clubs in Europe? What other English player can be written off as a past-it and then turn up the San Siro and be the best player on the park?

Most Englilsh players are happy to stay at cozy, mediocre clubs, playing mediocre football and taking home hugely-inflated and underserved salaries (Jermaine Pennant is a case in point). Becks has been abroad and proved himself to be great at Real Madrid and is currently doing it again at AC Milan. Other footballers should learn from him and people who slag him off for no good reason should learn a thing or two about football.

Posted by James Chetwood | Report as abusive
 

David Beckham is an absolutely outstanding player but I don’t agree that he is as brilliant as England’s greatest sportsmen and legend,Bobby Moore.

Posted by michael pearce | Report as abusive
 

Great article – You nailed it!!

Posted by Danny | Report as abusive
 

I HAVE NEVER HEARD SO MUCH BULLSHIT! THIS GUY IS AND HAS ALWAYS BEEN AN AVERAGE FOOTBALLER. YES HE CAN CROSS A GOOD BALL – HOWEVER I AM SICK TO DEATH HEARING ALL THIS BULLSHIT ABOUT HIS PERFORMANCE AGAINST GREECE. YES HE DID RUN ALL OVER THE PITCH, HOWEVER GIVEN THAT HE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE PLAYING RIGHT MIDFIELD WHY WAS HE ALL OVER THE PITCH? THE ANSWER SIMPLY IS BECAUSE FROM THE DAY SVEN MADE HIM CAPTAIN HE THOUGHT IT WAS HIS RIGHT TO DO AS HE PLEASED. IF HE KEPT HIS DISCIPLINE ON THE RIGHT OF MIDFIELD THE TEAM WOULD HAVE KEPT ITS SHAPE AND PAUL SCHOLES WOULD NOT HAVE RETIRED. AS FOR GREECE – LETS NOT FORGET HE HAD TAKE APPROX 10 FREE KICKS PRIOR TO THE ONE HE FINALLY SCORED. IRONICALLY FOR A FEE KICK THAT WAS NOT A FREE KICK.

Posted by Barry | Report as abusive
 

Well, “great article” or “absolute bullshit” – it just goes to show that football, and football blogs, are a matter of opinion.
And just to re-iterate, I didn’t claim that Beckham is a better player than Moore (though I personally believe he is in the same class), merely that he deserves comparison for his achievements.
“Bullshit” Barry (there’s a name to carry around) obviously feels better-informed that Fabio Capello, Sven-Goran Eriksson, Alex Ferguson, Carlo Ancelotti etc in his assesment of Beckham as just an “average footballer”.
Even in last night’s game he was the only England player to produce anything like an incisive pass, setting up Shaun Wright-Phillips and Carlton Cole for the best two chances of the game.

Posted by Mitch | Report as abusive
 

I’m having a laugh. English in search of an English idol reach way over the top of the hyperbolic scale in commending his highness. Take away the PR machine, the classic good looks, endorsement deals and basic frenzy surrounding the man and watch the football. Pure football. Okay, now tell me he belongs in the pantheon of Bobby Moore et al. and I’ll tell you, sir, that perhaps cricket would be a more suitable sport upon which you should comment. Yes, he belongs to stand alongside Moore . . . as the gent who just polished Moore’s boots, and no more. Good Day.

Posted by Mitch Agana | Report as abusive
 

Mitch, your retort is sorely lacking if it is your position that Mr. Beckham belongs next to Mr. Moore. The fact that he was chosen by a club coach, and the fact that you would actually cite that, does no more to place him at that level than does the fact that he was chosen by Eriksson under ridiculous duress from the FA. AND that he stood as captain, and failed miserably, only legisltes strongly against your comparison to Mr. Moore.

Finally, are you really suggesting that his ability to put through a couple of passes places him on Mount Olympus with the greatest of all-time?

Like I said, and say again respectfully, cricket man, cricket.

Posted by Mitch Agana | Report as abusive
 

beautiful piece of writing

 

Iknow all those who re saying beck is average is cause they re jelous of his money fame n celebritiness so if u feel offended kiss ma white ASS see ya

Posted by aron | Report as abusive
 

The perfect point, Beckham is a great player with a rightfully proud legacy who made the most of his significant talents. Compare his legacy by comparison to that of Paul Gascoigne, arguably the most talented player of his generation of English Footballers and how sorry an account he made of himself.

Posted by John Schaeffer | Report as abusive
 

I saw Moore and anyone who captains his country and gets over a hundred caps is very, very good, and Moore was.

Beckham too captained his country and got a hundred caps for a hundred starts and he too is very, very good.

Nice to see Mrs Moore saying that Bobby Moore would have been proud to see Beckham pass the mark.

For those who claim a “bench”cap is not as valuable then do you want to be the one to take the cap off all those England players that did not play 90 mins?

In Bobby Moors day you did not have a replacement bench as you now have. Finals were lost because someone got injured and could not be replaced.

Moore was not as precise with the ball as Beckham, and neither is anyone else. He is a very important player for England, and Capello will not start without having him available to win a game, or save it.
He’s already been there.

Posted by durk | Report as abusive
 

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