Manchester United FC

David Beckham's best free kicks - ranked

Ali Rampling
May 2, 2021, 12:07 PM GMT+1
David Beckham's best free kicks - ranked
David Beckham's best free kicks - ranked | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

David Beckham is a footballing icon, fondly remembered for his outrageous set piece skill and eclectic mix of hairstyles.

The former Manchester United winger's trademark free kick ability was so renowned, he even had a critically acclaimed low budget film named after it.

Let's take a look at the very best free kicks from Beckham's esteemed career.

10. England 4-0 Mexico, 2001

England recorded a 4-0 victory over Mexico in May 2001, and Beckham netted the Three Lions' third with a fabulous free kick from range.

Standing 30 yards from goal just left of centre, England's number seven sent the ball arcing around the Mexico wall and into the top corner.

9. Manchester United 2-2 Blackburn, 2001

Beckham popped up with a quickly taken free kick against Blackburn
Beckham popped up with a quickly taken free kick against Blackburn | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Having scored an own goal in the first half of United's Premier League draw with Blackburn in the August 2001, Beckham redeemed himself with a quickly taken second half free kick to draw his side level.

This was more unorthodox from Beckham, as he used his quick thinking to catch Brad Friedel off his line and float the ball over the head of the stranded Blackburn goalkeeper.

8. Manchester United 7-1 West Ham, 2000

Beckham netted United's sixth against the Hammers
Beckham netted United's sixth against the Hammers | Michael Steele/Getty Images

United fell a goal down after 11 minutes against West Ham in the Premier League in April 2000. They just about managed to turn it around, going on to win 7-1.

Beckham netted United's crucial sixth with an absolute rocket, cannoning off the crossbar and back into the roof of the net, such was the ferocity of the strike.

7. Manchester United 3-3 Barcelona, 1998

United and Barcelona played out an epic 3-3 draw in the 1998/99 Champions League group stages.

Having already surrendered a 2-0 advantage, Beckham gave United a 3-2 lead by swinging his free kick around the wall and into the top right hand corner from 25 yards out.

6. Manchester City 0-1 Manchester United, 2000

Beckham opened the scoring against City
Beckham opened the scoring against City | Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Beckham hit the winner just two minutes into the Manchester derby in November 2000.

Standing a good 35 yards out, the United winger struck a free kick of outrageous accuracy given his distance from goal, the ball bending around the wall and flying into the corner of the net. Not a bad way to settle a derby.

5. Everton 1-2 Manchester United, 2003

Beckham's final goal for his boyhood club came in his final game in a United shirt before he departed for the bright lights of Madrid. It was a signature free kick to draw his side level against Everton in May 2003.

Despite the set piece being situated on the right hand side of the box - appearing to suit a left-footer - Beckham produced a free kick with all the unpredictable curve in the world to send the ball into the far corner of the net.

4. Malaga 1-3 Real Madrid, 2003

Beckham's first free kick for Real Madrid was one to savour
Beckham's first free kick for Real Madrid was one to savour | CRISTINA QUICLER/Getty Images

Fresh from joining Real Madrid from United in the summer, Beckham scored his first free kick for the Spanish outfit against Malaga in September 2003.

Standing over the dead ball with Luis Figo and Roberto Carlos - both partial to a free kick themselves - the England winger laid the ball to Figo, who trapped it before Beckham unleashed a masterfully veering strike, leaving Malaga goalkeeper Francesc Arnau - a man who had clearly never seen Bend it Like Beckham - completely deceived by the sheer swerve on the ball.

3. Manchester United 4-3 Real Madrid, 2003

United crashed out of the Champions League quarter finals to Real Madrid in April 2003 despite their breathless 4-3 win at Old Trafford, losing 6-5 on aggregate.

But against the club he would join that summer, Beckham scored a goal that he would later describe as his best free kick in a United shirt, bending a fizzing drive past Iker Casillas. The Real goalkeeper stood rooted to the spot, completely dumbfounded by what he had just witnessed.

2. LA Galaxy 4-1 Kansas City, 2011

Beckham journeyed across the pond in 2007 and treated LA Galaxy fans to a particularly memorable version of his signature move in May 2011 to give his side a 4-1 lead over Kansas City.

Despite the acute angle, with the free kick awarded on the corner of the box, Beckham bent an absolutely spectacular strike into the top corner. Even the American commentator - not usually renowned as the shy and retiring type - was lost for words.

1. England 2-2 Greece, 2001

It's one thing to conjure up a moment of magic when your side are 5-1 up against West Ham. It's another to do the same in the dying minutes of a crucial World Cup qualifier.

The Three Lions needed a draw against Greece in October 2001 to qualify for next summer's tournament but were trailing 2-1 heading into stoppage time.

Enter Beckham.

The winger sent a stunning free kick 25 yards from goal soaring around the wall and into the top corner to book England's place at the 2002 World Cup. And the rest, as they say, is history.

By which we mean: England suffered a quarter final exit.