England’s iconic midfielder made his 100th appearance on this day.
His is without doubt one of the most scrutinised England careers in the history of the game, producing moments that have delighted and confounded the nation in equal measure.
From his debut against Moldova in September 1996, David Beckham has constantly drawn the attention of the public and media like no other player before him.
Incidents such as his sending off against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup, the public vilification that followed, his escalation to national hero after securing England’s place at the 2002 World Cup, the broken metatarsal that had the whole country praying and becoming the first Englishman to score in three World Cups, Beckham’s England career has been tumultuous, to say the least.
But away from all the controversy and the media circus, there is only one reason that Beckham captained his country 58 times and received his 100th cap on 26 March 2008; and that is because he is one of the finest players of his generation.
Having resigned the England captaincy after the 2006 World Cup on 94 caps, it looked at one stage that the midfielder may not reach the momentous milestone, having been left out of the international scene for almost a year.
But Beckham once again proved his resilience and commitment to the national cause, fighting his way back into the squad to reach the 100-mark in England’s 1-0 defeat to France in Paris.
Now on 115 caps and holding the record for most appearances by an outfield player, Beckham is one of the elder statesmen of the England squad. His recent unfortunate injury may have scuppered his plans to play in a fourth World Cup but who would write-off the come-back king from wearing the Three Lions once again?