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    Mar 2009


    Default Beckham goes down WC memory lane

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    David Beckham says his World Cup highlight was scoring a match-winning penalty against Argentina four years after a red card against the same team made him the most unpopular player in England.

    Beckham's spot kick in a 1-0 victory in Japan in 2002 went a long way to putting England through to the last 16 and knocking Argentina out.

    Four years previously, he was sent off for a petulant kick on Diego Simeone and England, down to 10 men for 73 minutes, went out on penalties after a 2-2 draw.

    Asked, in an interview with, what his favourite World Cup memory was, Beckham replied: "On a personal note, I'd have to say the game against Argentina in 2002, where I scored the penalty.

    "It's always special to beat your rivals, but obviously four years earlier I got sent off against them and we were beaten on penalties. To score the winning goal against them four years later was extremely special."

    Beckham, who is hoping this year to become the first English player to take part in four World Cups, said Argentina forward Lionel Messi, FIFA's player of the year, was likely to be the biggest star of the championship in South Africa.

    "Without doubt, he is one of the best players I've played against and also one of the finest players I've ever seen," Beckham said. "For a little player, he's so talented. He's the closest player to (Diego) Maradona that you can get, and he even plays in a similar passionate way too.

    "He's successful and a really good person as well. I'm sure he'll go on to be even more successful in the future."



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