The Amazing David Beckham Goal That Sent England to the 2002 World Cup

"Give that man a knighthood!"
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After 20 years, David Beckham has retired from professional soccer. Having had a career that took him from Manchester United to Real Madrid to the Los Angeles Galaxy; having captained the English national team for six years; and having won the English Premier League title six times, the FA Cup twice, and the European Champions League and Spain's La Liga championship each once, Beckham will be remembered in sports history for many things. But let's just take a moment to recall a single free-kick goal, scored in World Cup qualification play against Greece 11 years ago, so indelibly stunning that they named a movie after it.

It was the end of the game, two-and-a-half minutes into stoppage time; England was down 2-1, needing a tie to advance ...


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J.J. Gould is the editor of TheAtlantic.com. More

He has written for The Washington MonthlyThe American ProspectThe Moscow Times, The Chronicle Herald, and The European Journal of Political Theory. Gould was previously an editor at the Journal of Democracy, co-published by the Johns Hopkins University Press and the National Endowment for Democracy, and a lecturer in history and politics at Yale University. He has also worked with McKinsey & Company's New York-based Knowledge Group on global public- and social-sector development and on the economics of carbon-emissions reduction. Gould has a B.A. in history from McGill University in Montreal, an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and a Ph.D. in politics from Yale. He is from Nova Scotia.

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