There is a consensus that Zinedine Zidane is one of the best footballers ever. David Beckham, on the other hand, will never be considered as one of the greatest ever players and I have the feeling it’s only because he is good looking.
His good looks made him more famous than most footballers alive and made him one of the richest athletes ever. I think that made people scoff at his amazing achievements as a footballer. He was dismissed in Spain as “Super-model”, In Italy they called him “prima donna” and even in England some minimized his contribution to being a “shirt seller”.
However, Beckham won the Premier League title 6 times, the FA Cup twice, and the UEFA Champions League in 1999. He then played four seasons with Real Madrid winning the La Liga championship in his final season with the club. He also won the league in the USA and France. In every club he played for he was one of the most important players in the squad. A set-piece specialist with a thunderous right foot. Rivals’ managers feared him and asked their players not to foul his teammates near the box.
Beckham made good goal scorers great and great goal scorers unstoppable. He assisted 145 goals. He himself scored 97 club goals in 534 top-flight league games. He won 115 caps for England (17 goals). He might not have won anything with England but who does?
If we compare Beckahm’s career to Zidane’s, then one might wonder why on earth anyone would question the Englishman’s greatness.
At club level Zidane won La Liga and the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid and two Serie A league championships with Juventus. He scored 95 career goals in 506 appearances at clubs he played for – assisting 92 goals. He won 108 caps and scored 31 goals for France. He led France to a world cup win and a Euro win. Are these wins alone making him a greater player than Beckham? Maybe.
But what if Beckham was an average looking man? Would we have considered him as great as Zidane or at least at his greatness level? I think so.
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