On this day in 2001: David Beckham scored England a goal for Greece in the World Cup

David Beckham scored one of the most memorable goals in English football history as he sent his country to the World Cup that day in 2001.

The England captain cemented his title as England’s ‘Golden Balls’ with a stunning last-minute free-kick to give the Three Lions a draw against Greece at Old Trafford and secure their place at the 2002 World Cup.

It was a fitting end to a roller-coaster qualification that began with a defeat by Germany in the very last game at the old Wembley Stadium. They retaliated in the second leg when – under new coach Sven-Göran Eriksson – they secured an impressive 5-1 victory in Munich.

But their qualifying fortunes ended in the last round of games and they headed for the play-offs after Greek goals from Angelos Charisteas and Demis Nikolaidis canceled out Teddy Sheringham’s opener.

But Beckham had guided the Three Lions through the qualifying campaign and proved once again he was the man for the big event when the Manchester United midfielder, playing at his home ground, rolled in a stunning free-kick from 30 yards in the third minute of injury time Time to trigger mass scenes of celebration.

It completed his turnaround from the 1998 World Cup, where he was slandered after his red card against Argentina, and sent him on his way to becoming a national hero.

Beckham would make headlines again ahead of the tournament in Japan and South Korea as a metatarsal injury two months before the start cast doubts on his fitness.

He eventually made it onto the plane and scored an equalizer in a 1-0 win over Argentina before the Three Lions were knocked out by Brazil in the quarter-finals.

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/david-beckham-england-greece-svengoran-eriksson-english-b2196638.html On this day in 2001: David Beckham scored England a goal for Greece in the World Cup

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