David Beckham Range
David Beckham Range refers to the area of a football pitch within 35 yards of the opposition goal, within which, commentators believe that any free-kick taken by David Beckham will result in a goal. As such, commentators will feel it necessary to point out that any free-kick taken within this zone is either "just inside David Beckham Range" or even more worryingly for the opposition "well within David Beckham Range."
During his time at Manchester United, David Beckham was justifiably famous for scoring a series of spectacular curling free-kicks, which regularly found the top corner having followed a flight path 'as bent as a banana going round a bend'. Beckham was even able to find the net directly from a corner kick; an act later emulated by FYROM's Artim Sakiri against frequently-lobbed England goalkeeper David Seaman. Beckham is also less justifiably famous for scoring free kicks while on international duty for England. This is because people mostly remember:
- that one in the last minute against Greece, saving England from an embarrassing 2-1 home defeat
- that one against Colombia in World Cup 98
- that one against Paraguay that Carlos Gamarra put in his own net, saving England from an embarrassing 0-0 draw with Paraguay
- that one against Ecuador, saving England from an embarrassing 0-0 draw with Ecuador
Most commentators are slower to remember the countless thousands of free kicks that Beckham launched wide, into the wall, over the bar or softly into the arms of the keeper. Indeed, Beckham's free-kick potency for England was so limited that on several occasions he accidently hit wife and talentless Spice Girl, Victoria, mistaking her for the far post, though given her waif-like physique this is largely forgivable.
Beckham Dropped By McClaren
Following the decision by brolly-carrying, red-faced clown, Steve McClaren to drop Beckham from the England setup, it was generally expected that references to David Beckham range would stop. However, references only intensified, with the media firmly in the belief that the absence of the 7 goals per game previously expected from Beckham's free-kicks was the main cause for England's failure to qualify for Euro 2008. This was despite the lack of talented management, effort from the players, or Scott Carson's insistence on practicing his amateur one-ball juggling routine in the middle a must-win game with Croatia.
Other player's who are undeservedly believed to be good at free-kicks include:
- Roberto Carlos. Yes, Carlos did score 'that free-kick,' which is, arguably, the best ever, but his bizarre technique of always smashing the ball as hard as possible with the outside of the boot made Beckham's conversion ratio look like Jonny Wilkinson's. Given Real's policy of exclusively signing luxury players, typically strikers or play-makers, however, Carlos managed to retain free-kick taking duties until common-sense finally prevailed and he was sold to Turkish thugs and part-time football team, Fenerbahçe.
- Frank Lampard . Big fat Frank's free-kicks do lead to an outrageous number of goals, however, like all his shots, they are inevitably the result of a bizarre series of deflections that resemble what happens when the ball on a pinball table goes near the bumpers.
David Beckham Range may be partly inspired by the extra line on a Subbuteo pitch equidistant and parallel to the touch and halfway lines, behind which players are not allowed to shoot.